Pianist Adam Kent has performed in recital, as soloist with orchestra, and in chamber music on four continents. A winner of the American Pianists Association Fellowship and Simone Belsky Music Awards, Dr. Kent also received top prizes in the Thomas Richner, the Juilliard Concerto, and the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competitions, and is a recipient of the Arthur Rubinstein Prize and the Harold Bauer Award. Dr. Kent made his New York recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in 1989, and is a favorite on N.Y.C. area radio stations. Among his critically acclaimed commercial recordings are a CD of Ernesto Halffter’s complete piano music on Bridge Records and performances of chamber works by Joaquín Turina, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Oscar Lorenzo Fernândez with the Damocles Trio and Emerson Quartet violist Lawrence Dutton on the Claves label. BBC Music Magazine awarded the aforementioned Halffter recording five stars, commenting “This is an immensely attractive record, beautifully and resourcefully played and recorded…Exotic, vital, dancy and eloquently lyrical by turns, (the music) has, too, certain rather jazzy elements, all of which are impeccably captured by this young American pianist, whom I must I’d never heard of, but hope to hear more of. Beautifully recorded, his playing here is often suggestive of Alicia de Larrocha.” The New York Times has praised his playing for its “…wonderful sense of authority and technical flair,” and a recent review in Classical Music Guide by pianophile Donald Isler described him as “a pianist who plays with great energy, control, imagination, and mastery of the music.”
The music of Spain and Latin-America has long been a specialty of Dr. Kent’s, whose advocacy has been acknowledged by the Spanish government on numerous occasions. In 2011, King Juan Carlos I of Spain honored the pianist by bestowing Spain’s Orden al Mérito Civil, and the Spanish Consulate has also sponsored appearances by Dr. Kent at Weill Recital and Merkin Concert Halls. The Spanish Ministry for Education and Culture awarded him a grant for Música por doquier/Hispanic Music Everywhere, a year-long celebration of Spanish and Latin-American music with the Damocles Trio and Spanish composer and conductor Salvador Brotons, and The Foundation for Iberian Music at the CUNY Graduate Center and the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at NYU have also sponsored a number of Dr. Kent’s Hispanic-themed projects. Dr. Kent has also won grants to commission new works from Tania León, Salvador Brotons, Miguel-Ángel Roig-Francolì, and others. He has contributed performances and interviews to documentaries on Spanish composers Enrique Granados, Manuel de Falla, and Federico Mompou. Ms. León’s music has been an area of particular advocacy for Dr. Kent, who has programmed her works in concerts throughout the world, including a version of Homenatge choreographed by Pedro Ruiz for Dance Theater of Harlem.
Since 2016, Dr. Kent has been a professor of music at the State University of New York at Oneonta. Summers find him serving as Director of Cultural Outreach at the Burgos International Music Festival and teaching and performing at the Summit Music Festival in N.Y, Alberta Pianofest in Edmonton, Canada, and the Cursos de Verano of the Fundación Princesa de Asturias in Oviedo, Spain. He received a D.M.A. from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal. He holds as well B.M. and M.M. degrees from Manhattan School of Music, where he was a student of Solomon Mikowsky.
Dr. Kent’s writings have appeared in Clavier, Music in Art, Cambridge Scholars, and Diagonal journals and in a Spanish-language monograph on Xavier Montsalvatge published by the Spanish Society of Authors and Editors. His dissertation, The Use of Catalan Folk Materials in the Works of Federico Mompou and Joaquín Nin-Culmell, was awarded the Richard F. French Prize by The Juilliard School. A recent publication of Francisco Acuyo’s poetry entitled Vidrios y Cascabeles includes musical settings by Amparo Fabra performed by soprano Angelica de la Riva and Dr. Kent.
Recent undertakings include masterclasses at the Universidad Nacional de Bogotá and the Universidad del Valle in Colombia, recitals for the American Embassy and the Fulbright Scholar Program in Madrid, a recorded collaboration with Flamenco cantaor Fernando Barros in a fusion of Leonard Cohen’s music and Federico García Lorca’s poetry, and performances and masterclasses at the Manila International Piano Festival in the Philippines. In addition, with support from grants from the State University of New York, Dr. Kent recently produced a series of documentary lectures and performances featuring works by Robert Schumann, Frederic Chopin, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.