Internationally acclaimed American pianist Althea 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, the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Idyllwild Arts Festival in Southern California.
Praised by the Los Angeles Times for "superb technique and profound musicality," Ms. Waites has a distinguished history of championing new music by American composers and has received many honors and commendations for her work. She has also been guest soloist in major venues and PBS stations including National Public Radio’s Performance Today, KQED/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, performances in Indonesia, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Phillips Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the National Arts Festival at Grahamstown on the Eastern Cape in South Africa.
Her recording credits include the landmark CD, Black Diamonds, Along the Western Shore, and her 2012 recording, Celebration, featuring works by American composers as well as pieces which have been written for and dedicated to her.
Ms. Waites received the Bachelor of Music degree from Xavier University in Louisiana and the Master of Music degree in piano from Yale University School of Music where she studied with Donald Currier. Previous teachers and mentors include Alice Shapiro, a protégé of the late Rosina Lhevinne, Russell Sherman, and Sister Mary Elise Sisson.
In addition to maintaining her concert schedule, Ms. Waites is currently on the Keyboard faculty for the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach and is in demand for recitals, masterclasses and residencies throughout the United States. She also collaborates with BCCM faculty pianist and colleague Mark Uranker as the Orpheus Duo in performances of works from the traditional repertoire as well as new music for two pianos. Her strong commitment to cultural and community education is evident through her work with many outreach and service programs in retirement homes, hospitals, and arts institutions such as the Los Angeles County Music Center education program and Chamber Music in Historic Sites.
Althea Waites is a Yamaha Artist and a member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.
The Orpheus Duo
Pianists Mark Uranker and Althea Waites have combined their talents and performing experience to form a keyboard ensemble, The Orpheus Duo. Both artists have concertized extensively as soloists and chamber musicians throughout the United States and Europe and have been critically acclaimed for their performances of new music as well as familiar works from the the traditional duo-piano repertoire. Works written for the Orpheus Duo include those by composers Martin Herman, Alan Shockley, Carolyn Bremer, Robin Cox and Curt Cacioppo. Both artists are in demand for performances and residencies throughout the United States.