Jack I. and Dora B. Hamlin Endowed Chair in Music; Professor of Music (Piano)
Merrill Hall, MU100
One of the world's most celebrated pianists, André Watts joined the IU School of Music faculty in 2004. Professor Watts continues to give numerous recitals and performs with the world's major orchestras and conductors, while making regular visits to the major summer music festivals, including Ravinia, Tanglewood, Saratoga, the Mann Music Center, Mostly Mozart, and the Hollywood Bowl.
Watts entered the music scene in 1963 at the age of 16 when Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic in one of its Young People's Concerts, which was broadcast nationwide on CBS-TV. Two weeks later, Bernstein asked him to substitute at the last minute for an ailing Glenn Gould to perform music by Franz Liszt with the Philharmonic, thus launching Watts' career in storybook fashion.
Professor Watts has also made frequent television appearances, performing with the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. His 1976 New York recital, which aired on the program Live from Lincoln Center, was the first full-length recital broadcast in the history of television, and his performance at the 38th Casals Festival in Puerto Rico was nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Individual Achievement in Cultural Programming.
A much-honored artist, Professor Watts was selected in 1988 to receive the Avery Fisher Prize, one of the top individual honors for an American classical musician. At age 26, he was the youngest person ever to receive an honorary doctorate from Yale University, and he has received numerous such honors from many of the nation's most respected conservatories. In 1984, the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University honored Watts with its Distinguished Alumni Award.