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.
His recently released recording of the piano music of the Cuban-American composer Tania León entitled “Teclas de mi piano” has garnered critical praise from The New York Times, which reported, “The pianist Adam Kent has the measure of León’s sound throughout, whether he’s dealing with student pieces written in the 1960s or more recent items like “Homenatge,” from 2011. In the latter, he brings a virtuoso’s zest to the dance rhythms and bluesy clusters that cavort in the composition’s opening minutes. But he also offers a patient, less showy sensibility during the ruminative airs of the final minutes…Throughout, Kent pays as much attention to León’s formal invention as to the way she reworks her diverse inspirations.” All About the Arts enthuses about the disc “…the gifted Adam Kent triumphantly takes on every one of the pianistic hurdles contained in Tania León’s panoply of works.” Among his other 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.
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, the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at NYU, and Institut Ramon Lllull have also sponsored a number of Dr. Kent’s Hispanic-themed projects. Dr. Kent has 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 dedicated to him and choreographed by Pedro Ruiz for Dance Theater of Harlem. Recent performances have included a series of centennial tributes throughout Spain and the U.S. to the pianist Alicia de Larrocha, a collaboration with Flamenco cantaor Fernando Barros in Granada, Spain, and presentations at the Hispanic Heritage Festival at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Since 2016, Dr. Kent has been a professor of music at the State University of New York at Oneonta, where he was recently awarded the 2023 Susan Sutton Smith Award for Academic Excellence. Summers have found 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. In April 2023, Dr. Kent began a three-year tenure on the American Fulbright Specialist roster.