Beginning its second year in 2023/24, Piano Spheres’ Leonard Stein Artist Residency is a groundbreaking program dedicated to locating, supporting and presenting pianists from historically underrepresented groups. Named after Piano Spheres’ founder Leonard Stein, our Stein Residency artist is featured on PS’ Core Artist series and will present additional concerts and masterclasses for elementary and middle school students at Neighborhood Music School and Renaissance Arts Academy, and for college-age students at Cal State University Long Beach. Our Stein artists will also assist and advise the organization in advancing projects geared toward overturning biases in the ﬁeld of classical music. These projects include: a) making connections with community stakeholders to develop new audiences in underserved communities, b) serving as a model of achievement in classical music through performances and story-sharing with students in these communities, and c) compiling a library of works of classical compositions by historically underrepresented composers at the Piano Spheres Collection located in the UCLA Library. Piano Spheres’ first Stein artist was Dr. William Chapman Nyaho in 2022/23, whose specialty is the classical music of the African Diaspora. This program was made possible by a grant from New Music USA.
Our 2023/24 Stein Resident Artist is internationally acclaimed pianist Althea Waites. Ms. Waites has concertized extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a brilliant soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative artist. In addition to performances on concert stages around the world, she has also participated in numerous festivals as a soloist, collaborative pianist, and ensemble coach, including Aspen, Tanglewood, the Yale Summer Festival at Norfolk, the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Idyllwild Arts Festival in Southern California and as guest artist for the National Arts Festival at Makhanda on the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
Praised by the Los Angeles Times for “superb technique and profound musicality,” Ms. Waites has a long and distinguished history of championing 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/Los Angeles, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Geneva Conservatory of Music in Switzerland, Wigmore Hall in London, Merkin Hall in New York City, concerts for the UC/ San Diego World Music program in Indonesia, Phillips Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to name a few.
Her recording credits include Black Diamonds, a landmark CD of music by African-American composers as well as the premiere recording of Florence Price’s 1932 Sonata in E Minor, Along the Western Shore and Celebration, a 2012 recording featuring new music by American composers. This CD also includes works which have been written for and dedicated to Ms. Waites in celebration of 60 years as concert artist and teacher.
Our Stein Resident Artist for 2022/23 was Dr. William Chapman Nyaho. Dr. Chapman Nyaho is a Ghanaian American concert pianist specializing in solo piano music by composers from Africa and the African diaspora.
For more information about Dr. Chapman Nyaho, please click HERE.
2022/23 Residency Schedule
Feb 11, 2023 8PM: Chapman Nyaho Concert at Pomona College
Feb 12, 2023 2PM: Chapman Nyaho Master Class at Scripps College
The above events are co-sponsored by Pomona College and Scripps College
Thurs. Feb 23: 12:00 PM Live radio interview/performance at KPFK, Los Angeles
Friday Feb 24: 4:00 PM Workshop at Neighborhood Music School in Boyle Heights
Sat. Feb 25: 4:00 PM Salon concert/lecture at private home
Sun. Feb 26: 2:00 PM Workshop with Emerging Artist Leonard Hayes at Pasadena Conservatory of Music
Tues Feb 28: 8:00 PM William Chapman Nyaho Concert at Thayer Hall, Colburn School
Tues. Mar 7: 8:00 PM Emerging Artist Leonard Hayes Recital
February 24: 3:00 PM Neighborhood Music School, Boyle Heights – Student Workshop
Dr. Chapman Nyaho will share piano music from the African Diaspora with young students from the iconic 103-year-old Neighborhood Music School in Boyle Heights. NMS provides private lessons, recitals and workshops to students from underserved communities in Los Angeles.
February 26 – 3:00 PM Pasadena Conservatory of Music – Barrett Hall
Emerging Artist Workshop – with Dr. Chapman Nyaho and Leonard Hayes
Dr. Nyaho and Emerging Artist Leonard Hayes present a public workshop for students, teachers and composers. Leonard Hayes, a doctoral candidate at USC will preview his March 7th performance, and Dr. Chapman Nyaho will discuss the process of preparing contemporary piano music for performance, including a newly commissioned piece written by a composer from a historically underrepresented group. This year’s composer is Dr. Bognani Ndodana-Breen.
February 28 – 8:00 PM Zipper Hall, Colburn School Performance – Dr. William Chapman Nyaho
Dr. Chapman Nyaho will take you on a discovery of exciting piano music from North Africa to Sub Saharan West African and Southern African regions. He will continue with music of the African diaspora showing related melodic and rhythmic connections and influences, weaving in personal anecdotes. Music by Halim El Dabh, Bongani Ndodana-Breen, Tania León, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and Margaret Bonds.
March 7, 2023 – Emerging Artist Leonard Hayes Recital
Piano Spheres presents Emerging Artist Leonard Hayes, a doctoral candidate at USC and student of Antoinette Perry, performing works to be announced later. Mr. Hayes will be mentored by Leonard Stein Resident Artist, Dr. William Chapman Nyaho.