Pianist André Watts burst upon the music world at the age of 16 when Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his New York Philharmonic debut in a Young People's Concert that was broadcast nationwide. Two weeks later Bernstein asked him to substitute for the ailing Glenn Gould with the New York Philharmonic in performances of Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1, thus launching his career. More than 45 years later Mr. Watts remains one of today's most celebrated and beloved superstars.
Mr. Watts is a regular guest with American orchestras and at major summer music festivals including Ravinia, the Hollywood Bowl, Saratoga, Tanglewood, and the Mann Music Center. Recent and upcoming engagements include appearances with the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the St. Louis, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Cincinnati, Houston, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Seattle, and National symphon orchestras. In celebration of the Liszt anniversary in 2011, Mr. Watts played all-Liszt recitals throughout the U.S., while recent and upcoming international engagements include concerto and recital appearances in Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, and Spain.
Numerous television appearances have included performances with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. His 1976 New York recital, aired on Live From Lincoln Center, was the first full-length recital broadcast.
André Watts's extensive discography includes recordings of works by Gershwin, Chopin, Liszt, and Tchaikovsky for CBS Masterworks; recitals of works by Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt, and Chopin for Angel/EMI; and the concertos of Liszt, MacDowell, Tchaikovsky, and Saint-Saens for Telarc. He is also included in the Great Pianists of the 20th Century series for Philips.
Mr. Watts received the Avery Fisher Prize in 1988. He was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl of Fame in 2006, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of his professional debut (with The Philadelphia Orchestra).