Pianist André Watts to Perform Program of Celebrated Composers in Intimate Concert

Pianist André Watts to Perform Program of Celebrated Composers in Intimate Concert

Legendary pianist André Watts will share a program of master composers on Thursday, May 9, 2019, as part of the 2019 Hamlen-Palm Series of exclusive house concerts. The series is produced by and benefits Classical Action, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Watts' program is set to include pieces by Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, Domenico Scarlatti and Franz Schubert. The intimate concert will be performed in the stunning TriBeCa loft home of longtime Classical Action supporters Kevin Roon and Simon Yates.

Reserved seats to the performance are on sale at classicalaction.org.

Watts is one of America's most celebrated artists. His recent and upcoming appearances include the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Minnesota Orchestra and Dallas, Cincinnati and Houston Symphonies, among others. Watts' 1976 Live from Lincoln Center recital was the first full-length recital broadcast in the history of television. His performance at the 38th Casals Festival was nominated for an Emmy Award. A recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, Watts received a National Medal of Arts from former president Barack Obama and was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl of Fame in 2006.

Watts closes out the 2019 Hamlen-Palm Series, which also included performances by mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves and Emerson String Quartet. The series is curated by David Lai, co-president and founder of Park Avenue Artists.

The series was recently renamed from the Michael Palm Series to the Hamlen-Palm Series in honor of Charles Hamlen. Hamlen was the founding director of Classical Action, a visionary in the world of classical music management as the co-founder of what would become IMG Artists, and artistic adviser to the Orchestra of St. Luke's. Hamlen passed away from leukemia on August 1, 2018.

Watts was part of the first Michael Palm Series in 2003.

"Having had the honor and privilege of taking part in the beginnings of Classical Action when Charles Hamlen told me about his new endeavor many years ago, I now feel like a member of the original family," Watts said. "I've always felt a commonality of purpose at these events with everyone committed to the good fight against AIDS. My playing this May will, of course, have the extra emotionality of having Charlie with us only in spirit. I feel Charlie's presence was so wonderfully powerful in person that our memories of him keep that presence powerful through these concerts."

Michael Palm, the original namesake for the Hamlen-Palm Series, was a financial expert and philanthropist who dedicated his life to the arts, gay rights and the fight against HIV/AIDS. He first met Hamlen backstage at Carnegie Hall following a recital by pianist Earl Wild, where Palm learned about Classical Action. Palm was inspired by the classical musicians coming together to make a difference and launched a series of benefit house concerts that ultimately bore his name. Palm died in 1998.

Founded in 1993, Classical Action draws upon the talents, resources and generosity of the classical, opera and jazz communities to raise money for those battling HIV/AIDS and other critical illnesses.

As a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Classical Action helps fund the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative and The Samuel J. Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts. Broadway Cares also awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

Since its founding in 1988, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has raised more than $300 million to help provide access to lifesaving medications, health care, counseling, nutritious meals and emergency financial assistance to hundreds of thousands of men, women and children across the country.

For more information, please visit Classical Action at classicalaction.org, facebook.com/classicalaction and twitter.com/classicalaction.

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