Althea Waites

Althea Waites

Keyboard Studies

Office: UMC-A505
Phone: 562-985-4781

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 long and 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, and performances in Indonesia, Phillips Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Her recording credits include the landmark CD, Black Diamonds, Along the Western Shore, and her 2012 recording, Celebration, featuring music of American composers on her new record label, Kuumba Music.

Ms. Waites received the Bachelor of Music degree from Xavier University of Louisiana, and the Master of Music degree in piano from the Yale University School of Music where she studied with Donald Currier. Her principal mentors and teachers also include Alice Shapiro, Russell Sherman and Sr. Mary Elise Sisson.

In addition to maintaining her concert schedule, Ms. Waites is currently on the keyboard faculty for the Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach, and is in demand for recitals, residencies, and masterclasses at colleges and arts institutions throughout the United States.

Her strong commitment to cultural and community education is evident through her work with many outreach and service programs in retirement homes, medical centers, religious institutions, prisons and other agencies such as Chamber Music in Historic Sites and the Los Angeles County Music Center Education program.

Althea Waites is a Steinway artist and member of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.

The Orpheus Duo

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, Carolyn Bremer, and Robin Cox. Recent concerts have included music of Messiaen, Brahms, Stravinsky, and Lloyd Rogers, as well as Mr. Uranker’s arrangement of dances from Manuel De Falla’s Three-Cornered Hat. Both artists are on the keyboard faculty at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach and are in demand for concerts throughout the country. They are currently preparing a recording of works by Debussy, Stravinsky, and Brahms.