Pianist Althea Waites has been acclaimed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a brilliant soloist and chamber musician. In addition to her performances on many of the world's prestigious concert stages, she has also appeared in recital at major festivals such as Aspen, Tanglewood, the Yale Summer Festival, and the Idyllwild Arts Festival.
Praised by the Los Angeles Times for "superb technique and profound musicality," Ms. Waites has a distinguished history of performing new music by American composers and has received several honors and commendations for her work. She has also been guest soloist for National Public Radio’s Performance Today, KQED in San Francisco, KCET in Los Angeles and Sundays at Four, a live broadcast from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Her recording credits include a CD of music by African-American composers, Black Diamonds, which was released by Cambria Records in 1993 to rave reviews from the critics, and Along the Western Shore, a new recording of works by California composers.
Ms. Waites is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana and the Yale University School of Music where she studied with Donald Currier. She has also studied with Alice Shapiro, a protégé of the late Rosina Llhevine at the Juiliard School and Russell Sherman, faculty artist at New England Conservatory.
In addition to maintaining her concert schedule, Ms. Waites is currently on the keyboard faculty at California Sate University, Long Beach and is in demand for residencies and master classes at colleges and arts institutions throughout the country. Her strong commitment to cultural and community education is evident through her work with many outreach and service programs in retirement homes, prisons, hospitals, and arts institutions such as the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department as well as former affiliations with Performing Tree, the Los Angeles County Music Center Education program, and Chamber Music in Historic Sites.
Althea Waites is a Steinway artist.
The Orpheus Duo
Pianists Mark Uranker and Althea Waites have combined their talents and performing experience to form a keyboard ensemble, The Orpheus Duo. Both artists have concertized extensively as soloists and chamber musicians throughout the United States and Europe and have been critically acclaimed for their performances of new music as well as familiar works from the the traditional duo-piano repertoire. Works written for the Orpheus Duo include those by composers Martin Herman, Carolyn Bremer, and Robin Cox. Recent concerts have included music of Messiaen, Brahms, Stravinsky, and Lloyd Rogers, as well as Mr. Uranker's arrangement of dances from Manuel De Falla's Three-Cornered Hat. Both artists are on the keyboard faculty at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach and are in demand for concerts throughout the country. They are currently preparing a recording of works by Debussy, Stravinsky, and Brahms.