Charlie Albright

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Charlie Albright
찰리 박 올브라이트
Joe Biden standing next to Charlie Albright
Vice-President-elect Joe Biden with Charlie Albright in December 2008
Background information
Born 1988
Washington, United States
Origin Centralia, Washington
Genres Classical
Occupations Pianist
Instruments Piano
Years active 1992–present
Website CharlieAlbright.com

Charlie Albright (Korean: 찰리 박 올브라이트) is an American-born classical pianist. He is an official Steinway Artist,[1] 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grant Recipient,[2] 2010 Gilmore Young Artist (2010) and former Young Concert Artist.[3] He graduated from Harvard College (B.A.) and the New England Conservatory (M.M.) as the first classical pianist in the five-year Harvard University/New England Conservatory BA/MM Joint Program, was named the Leverett House Artist in Residence for 2011–2012, and was one of the 15 Most Interesting Seniors of the Harvard College Class of 2011.[4] He is currently in the Artist Diploma (A.D.) program at the Juilliard School of Music.[5]

Albright is a frequent collaborator with Yo-Yo Ma. The New York Times has praised Albright's "jaw-dropping technique" and described his playing as "virtuosity with a distinctive musicality throughout."[6] The Washington Post declared that "Albright is among the most gifted musicians of his generation."[7] Albright lives in New York City.

Childhood[edit]

Albright was born in 1988 in the U.S. Army hospital within Fort Lewis, near Tacoma, Washington. His mother, Hyesoo, was a computer database specialist who was born in Seoul, and his father, Jeff Albright, was a U.S. Navy serviceman; the two married in Korea and then settled in Washington in 1987. About a year after Albright was born the family moved to Centralia where he was raised.[8] Albright has a younger sister named Lillian.[9] Albright says he began to play the piano at age three-and-a-half, starting with "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" played by ear.[5] From the age of four he appeared on state and national television. He did not receive formal classical training until 1996 when he began studying with Nancy Adsit of Olympia, Washington.[10][11]

During his years with Adsit, Albright was selected five times as an Olympia Chapter representative to the Washington State Music Teachers Convention (WSMTA) and received a Beaux Arts Society scholarship. In 1998, he made his orchestral debut with the University of Puget Sound symphony. In 2000, he won prizes at the Central Washington University Sonatina/Sonata Festival and won the Olympia Chapter Concerto Festival, which led to a guest artist appearance with the Capital Area Youth Symphony in 2001.

Continuing to develop his performance career, Albright performed as part of the "Wonder Kids" concert in the Elsinore Piano Series in Salem, Oregon, in 2001 and performed in a concert with Dr. Tanya Stambuck of the University of Puget Sound the following January. Other performances throughout Washington included solo debuts with the Olympia Symphony Orchestra and the Seattle Philharmonic in 2002.

Albright's success continued as a prizewinner in the Northwest Chopin Festival on February 1, 2003, and first prize winner in the 2003 Washington State MTNA Senior Piano Competition. Other concerts that year included appearances on the Steinway Young Artists Series in Seattle, and a guest artist appearance with the Port Angeles Symphony in Port Angeles, Washington.

High school/early college[edit]

Albright attended Centralia High School, where he graduated in 2007. In 2005, he attended the Centralia College as part of the Running Start Program, where he graduated with his Associate of Science Degree with Highest Honors in 2007.

2004[edit]

At age 15, Albright was selected as the youngest pianist in the Young Artist program of the 2004 TCU/Cliburn Piano Institute in Fort Worth, Texas.[12] Additionally, he won the Washington State MTNA Senior Piano Competition a second time, the Northwest Division MTNA Senior Piano Competition in Missoula, Montana, and the Olympia Music Teachers Association Concerto Competition.

2005[edit]

At age 16, Albright was among the five winners in the 14–16-year-old division at the Northwest Chopin Competition held in February 2005.[13] He played in the festival's Prizewinners' Concert at the Community Concerts Series in Centralia, Washington, and a concert with the Northwest Wind Symphony.

He was one of seven competitors in the 2005 National MTNA Senior Piano Competition.

When he was almost 17 years old, Albright was the First Prize winner in the 2005 International Institute for Young Musicians (IIYM) International Piano Competition in Lawrence, Kansas.[11]

Albright won the 2005 Washington State MTNA Senior Piano Competition for the third time, in November.

2006[edit]

Albright won Second Prize in the 2006 Schimmel Senior International Piano Competition in Tempe, Arizona.

In June, he was the first pianist ever to win both the Solo and Ensemble Divisions of the 2006 New York Biennial National Piano Competition in New York, New York.[14]

In August, he won first prize and all other prizes in the 2006 Eastman Young Artists' International Piano Competition at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.[15] Other prizes included the "Audience Prize," the "Best Performance in a Master Class" prize, and the "Best Performance of a 21st Century Work" prize.[5]

Albright won the 2006 Washington State MTNA Senior Piano Competition for the fourth time, in November. He won in his age group at the Chopin Northwest competition.[16]

Albright gave a concert at the 5-year memorial of the 9/11/01 World Trade Center Attacks at New York's Trinity Church, a concert with the Metropolitan Opera Chamber Ensemble, and other concerts in Washington, D.C. and Massachusetts.

2007[edit]

Albright won third prize at age 18 in the 2007 Hilton Head International Piano Competition held in South Carolina, finishing behind Eric Zuber and Alexey Koltakov.[17]

College/graduate school career[edit]

Albright was the first classical pianist in the Harvard/New England Conservatory 5-Year BA/MM Joint Program, where he received a bachelor's degree in economics and completing a pre-medical curriculum at Harvard College (Class of 2011). He was also a Master of Music student in Piano Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music (Class of 2012).[18] He was named the Harvard University Leverett House Artist in Residence for 2011–2012. During the school year he also played 32 concerts worldwide.

2008[edit]

Albright won the 2007-2008 Harvard Bach Society Orchestra Competition as a freshman and performed the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto, No. 1 with the group in February 2008.

During the summer, he competed in the 2008 Sydney International Piano Competition in Sydney, Australia, where he finished as a semi-finalist and won the category for playing a Franz Liszt study piece (étude), and was given a prize for the "Best Performance of a 21st Century Work in Stage 1."[19]

Yo-Yo Ma with Albright in December 2008

On December 1, the pianist performed for the first time with cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the Harvard ceremony presenting the late Senator Ted Kennedy with an Honorary Doctorate degree. At the ceremony, guests included Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Senator John Kerry, and then Vice-President-Elect Joe Biden.

2009[edit]

In February, Albright competed in the IV Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition, performing at a piano salon in New York City, but he was not selected to continue after this preliminary round. Albright competed at the Top of the World International Piano Competition in Norway in June 2009. He rose through the first round to compete in the second round but he was not one of the top three finishers. He competed in the Vendome Prize International Piano Competition in Vienna and, though he was not selected among the top five finishers, he was given a special award by pianist and jury member Elisabeth Leonskaja.[3]

In October, Albright gave a concert and taught his first master class at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, as a guest artist for the Sanford Piano Series.[20][21]

Albright was one of four winners of the 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions where he won the Paul A. Fish First Prize, the Ruth Laredo Award, the Sander Buchman Prize, the Ronald A. Asherson Prize, and the Sander Buchman Prize, as well as four performance prizes.[3]

Albright performed approximately 28 times in the 2009-2010 Concert Season. Concert venues included those in Paris, Los Angeles, Boston, Michigan, and New York. In November 2009 Albright received the 2010 Gilmore Young Artist Award, given to two pianists biannually. Albright was granted $15,000 with an additional $10,000 for the commissioning of a new composition for piano.[22]

He gave six concerts as a 2010 Gilmore Young Artist at the 2010 Gilmore Keyboard Festival in Michigan, where he received a review describing his playing as "Poetry in motion... with flair as well as fireworks... Maturity might be a given for a Gilmore Young Artist. But Albright's professional polish was evident, not simply in the way he played the piece, but in the manner he played with the orchestra, as opposed to against or merely alongside it." The review concluded that "This college kid... is going places in music," and that "In Royce Auditorium on Thursday, Albright was number one all the way."[23]

Named scholarship and signature piano[edit]

During September 2009, seven students at the Centralia College received the "Charlie Albright Scholarship," organized by the Centralia College Foundation from funds raised by a concert Albright gave in 2008. In December 2009, Centralia College purchased an instrument they called the "Charlie Albright Piano" as a result of the "Charlie Albright Piano Project." Albright gave the inaugural performance on the nine-foot Model D Steinway, purchased for Corbet Theatre, on March 27, 2010.[24]

2010[edit]

In Salt Lake City in June, Albright competed in the XV Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition but he was not among the six finalists. On July 22, 2010, Albright made his San Francisco Symphony debut with the Duke Ellington "New World A-Comin'" with conductor Alondra de la Parra.[25] He ended with an encore of Liszt's La Campanella to a standing ovation.

Albright made his Seattle Symphony debut with the Beethoven Piano Concerto, No. 3 with conductor Gerard Schwarz on September 10, 2010.[5][26]

Performances in Albright's 2010-2011 Concert Season also included concerts in Boston (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall with the Longwood Symphony Orchestra), New York (Merkin Concert Hall), and Washington, D.C. (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts). He also gave master classes throughout the country.[5]

After Albright's debut at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on February 14, 2011, The Washington Post wrote that "Albright is among the most gifted musicians of his generation." It continued that "An impressive range of differently colored sounds at the keyboard was matched by overwhelming virtuosity" and that Albright "leapt the most outrageous technical hurdles... with a sense of dangerous self-abandon that was thrilling to hear. At the same time, musical shape was never sacrificed to showmanship."[7]

Albright was named the Harvard University Leverett House Artist in Residence for 2011-2012. Previous Artists in Residence at Leverett have included the likes of cellist Yo-Yo Ma (1979–1981). In December 2010, he was named one of the 15 Most Interesting Seniors of the Harvard College Class of 2011.[4]

2011[edit]

On May 26, 2011, Albright graduated from Harvard College with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in economics.

Albright released his first commercial album, Vivace, in February 2011.

He performed with the Longwood Symphony Orchestra at Boston's Jordan Hall on May 14, 2011, and with the Boston Pops Orchestra at Boston's Symphony Hall on May 17–18, 2011.

Keith Lockhart with Albright in May 2011

In June, 2011, Albright was accepted to the roster of Steinway Artists.[1]

Albright was the first Artist-in-Residence of the 2011-2012 season of American Public Media's Performance Today, hosted by Fred Child. As such, he gave a weeklong series of performances and interviews for the national radio program.[27]

2012[edit]

On May 20, 2012, Albright graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with a Master of Music (M.M.) degree in Piano Performance, having studied under Wha-Kyung Byun.[5] He traveled to Spain to compete in the XVII Paloma O'Shea International Piano Competition, but he did not move past the first round.[28] He was accepted as one of three pianists to the Juilliard School of Music's Artist Diploma (A.D.) program, where he studies with Yoheved Kaplinsky.[5]

2013[edit]

In 2013, Albright was named the recipient of the Arthur W. Foote Award of the Harvard Musical Association in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[5]

Albright in concert at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in February 2013

Albright was invited to give three All-Schubert solo concerts at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 2013, to which the Boston Musical Intelligencer wrote that the 25-year-old pianist was "unsurpassed" and "on the top tier." The author continued by writing that "It was gripping, frankly, both spellbinding and spellbound, quite unlike most such solo recitals I've heard over the decades."[29]

The second of the three Schubert-cycle concerts at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was met with praise, with reviews hailing that "Albright is a born Schubert player. Albright has the requisite chops of a competition winner, but the beauty, sensitivity, and taste of a mature artist. His Schubert was ravishing, imaginative, poetic—full of poignancy and lyricism. His interpretation sounded spontaneous, but this was also heartfelt, mature playing. Everything had been thought out by a mind brimming with musical intelligence." [30]

Actor Courtney Vance and Albright at Harvard University in September 2013

2014[edit]

On March 18, 2014, Albright was awarded the 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grant at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The award is "designed to give professional assistance and recognition to talented instrumentalists...who the Recommendation Board and Executive Committee of the Avery Fisher Artist Program believe to have great potential for major careers," and includes a $25,000 grant. The Executive Committee consists of such artists as pianist Emanuel Ax and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.[2][31]

2011-2012 concert season[edit]

Albright's 2011-2012 concert season included about 30 concerts and residencies throughout the United States. Highlights included a concert with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Project commemorating the 10-year remembrance of the 9/11 attacks (September, 2011); guest artist appearances with such orchestras as the Phoenix Symphony (November, 2011) and the Lansing Symphony Orchestra in the 2012 Gilmore Keyboard Festival (May, 2012); masterclasses at universities; and solo concerts.[5]

2012-2013 concert season[edit]

Albright's 2012-2013 concert season includes about 38 concerts and residencies, including a fifth concert with cellist Yo-Yo Ma in a roundtable discussion with dancer Damian Woetzel by the Aspen Institute Arts Program; guest artist appearances with the San Francisco Symphony (CA, 2nd time), Fort Smith Symphony (AK), Whatcom Symphony (WA), Great Falls Symphony (MT), Lafayette Symphony (IN), Fargo-Moorhead Symphony (ND), Olympia Symphony (WA), and Hilton Head Symphony (SC); and solo concerts at the Phillips Collection, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Mondavi Center at UC Davis.[5]

2013-2014 concert season[edit]

Albright performed 77 concerts and outreaches/residencies during the 2013-2014 season. He made his orchestral and solo Canadian debuts with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and on the Vancouver Recital Society series. He also made a solo debut in South Korea at the Kumho Art Hall as part of the Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation's Rising Stars Series.[32][33]

Albright was awarded the 2014 Ruhr Klavier Festival Young Artist Scholarship, presented by pianist Marc-André Hamelin and includes a debut at the 2014 Ruhr Festival in Germany.[34][35]

2014-2015 concert season[edit]

Albright gave a debut solo concert at the Rockport Music Festival on June 13, 2014 to critical acclaim (see "Reception" below). Highlights of the season include a 14-concert tour with conductor Keith Lockhart and the BBC Concert Orchestra, as well as debuts with the Tacoma Philharmonic and Victoria Symphony.[36][37]

Discography[edit]

Vivace is Albright's commercial debut album, released in February 2011. The album holds six works, concluding with a piece composed by Albright. The others are by Haydn, Menotti, Schumann-Liszt, Janáček and Chopin. All of the works were recorded on the Albright Steinway in Corbet Theatre at Centralia College.[38]

Reception[edit]

Albright has received positive reviews in the media.

The Washington Post declared that "Albright is among the most gifted musicians of his generation." It continued that "An impressive range of differently colored sounds at the keyboard was matched by overwhelming virtuosity" and that Albright "leapt the most outrageous technical hurdles... with a sense of dangerous self-abandon that was thrilling to hear. At the same time, musical shape was never sacrificed to showmanship."[7]

The New York Times praised Albright's "Jaw-dropping technique" and described his playing as "virtuosity with a distinctive musicality throughout"[6]

The Boston Musical Intelligencer wrote that if Albright "is not indisputably first among equals, he seems to me unsurpassed, anyway, and on the top tier. I will be surprised to hear another performance at this level very soon. It was gripping, frankly, both spellbinding and spellbound, quite unlike most such solo recitals I've heard over the decades."[29] On a separate occasion, they wrote that "Albright has the requisite chops of a competition winner, but the beauty, sensitivity, and taste of a mature artist. is Schubert was ravishing, imaginative, poetic—full of poignancy and lyricism. It would seem Albright is a born Schubert player, whose taste is simply impeccable. His interpretation sounded spontaneous, but this was also heartfelt, mature playing. Everything had been thought out by a mind brimming with musical intelligence." In response to his improvised encore, they wrote that "Albright is a master of improvisation." [30]

The Arizona Republic declared that "Pianist Charlie Albright steals Phoenix Symphony show" at his debut with the orchestra on November 3, 2011.[39]

The Daily Gazette wrote about Albright's performance in Albany, New York, on January 28, 2012. "Albright galvanized a capacity crowd... not only with a superb technical display but also a level of musicianship that could only be called poetically magical... His program showed off some of the things he does best: a frothy, fleet, effortless technique; a singing tone that is like a caress; phrasing that breathes and lifts with exquisite nuances; and an exuberance that is as sunny as it is intense, passionate and effervescent."[40]

The Lansing City Pulse declared that Albright "broke every heart on board. He played... like a consummate actor whose pianistic skill was a mere bonus." It also wrote of his "tireless dexterity," "split-second timing," and how "his polish and poise disguised the hard work in a cloak of drama." Dubbed "The Albright effect," it was raved that he "steals (the) Lansing Symphony finale."[41]

The Journal & Courier wrote "Albright played with flawless and dazzling technique, great sensitivity and musicality, but also appeared to be engrossed in and enjoying himself at the piano. Musicality and sensitivity were great companions and partners with Albright's technique and virtuosity."[42]

The Cortez Journal in Cortez, Colorado, wrote in 2014 that "Albright did not play the piano. He was the piano. His entire program was a whole, living breathing organism that made it impossible to separate artist from art or from the instrument upon which it was crafted... Albright lacked even a hint of arrogance or condescension... [he was] friendly, talkative and sincere. He held nothing back for himself. He gave it all away." With regard to an Albright improvisation, they wrote that it was "Gentle and lyrical one moment, martial and grandiose the next, it was an impressive sleight-of-hand which seemed, frankly, unbelievable." The review concluded that "We glimpsed something true, eternal and marvelous and the evening became a celebration of those qualities."[43]

On June 13, 2014, Albright gave a debut solo recital in the Rockport Music Festival, where the Boston Musical Intelligencer declared that the "piano sensation gave an impassioned and masterful performance." It continued that "Albright, who possesses titanic technical skill and much emotional sensitivity, parted the gloomy skies with a sparkling stage-side manner, a welcoming sense of informality, and the artistic willingness and musical chops to include improvisation on the program, a still-rare skill that is being resuscitated by our best artists." Regarding Chopin's Op. 25 etudes, the review stated that "Albright launched into the 12-piece set, forming it with the coherency of a piano symphony."[44]


References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b http://www.aboutlincolncenter.org/press-room/release/648
  3. ^ a b c "Charlie Albright, pianist". Young Concert Artists. Archived from the original on May 18, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Braiterman, Beth E. (December 10, 2010). "Charlie Albright: Setting the tone on the piano and in the lab". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Biography". Charlie Albright. 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Schweitzer, Vivien (2011-03-09). "Charlie Albright at Merkin Concert Hall - Review". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ a b c Downey, Charles T. (2011-02-16). "Pianist Charlie Albright shines in Kennedy Center debut". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  8. ^ "Staff profile: Hyesoo Albright". Centralia College Update (Centralia College) 17 (3): 1. February 3, 2010. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Charlie Albright. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  10. ^ Pemberton, Lisa (February 7, 2007). "Piano prodigy eyes the future". The Wenatchee World. 
  11. ^ a b Adler, Eric (August 15, 2005). "Keys to success". The Post and Courier (Lawrence, Kansas). Knight Ridder. pp. 3D–4D. 
  12. ^ "Young Artist Performers". TCU/Cliburn Piano Institute. May 26 – June 27, 2004. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  13. ^ "NW Chopin Competition". Polish Music Newsletter (Polish Music Center, University of Southern California) 11 (3). March 2005. ISSN 1098-9188. 
  14. ^ "The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation / The New York International Piano Competition". Stecherandhorowitz.org. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  15. ^ "18-year-old Virtuoso Wins Eastman's 2006 Young Artists International Piano Competition". Eastman School of Music. August 8, 2006. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Past Winners". The Chopin Foundation of the United States Northwest Council. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  17. ^ "2007 Winners". Hilton Head International Piano Competition. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  18. ^ Li, Lingbo (March 4, 2009). "Doing Double Time". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Previous Prize-Winners' Archive: 2008". The Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia. 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
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  21. ^ "Sanford Piano Series". Wwu.edu. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  22. ^ "Gilmore Young Artist Award". The Glimore. 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  23. ^ Katy Batdorff. "Gilmore Young Artist Charlie Albright is rising star pianist; see him this weekend". MLive.com. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  24. ^ "Centralia College Foundation - Life Income Giving Plans". Foundation.centralia.edu. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  25. ^ "San Francisco Symphony - Event Details". Sfsymphony.org. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  26. ^ "Beethoven & Wine Festival:Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 | Seattle Symphony Orchestra". Seattlesymphony.org. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  27. ^ "Performance Today from American Public Media". Performancetoday.publicradio.org. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  28. ^ "Pianistas participantes en el Concurso Paloma O'Shea" (in Spanish). Mundoclasico.com. April 13, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  29. ^ a b "Gripping Schubert at the Gardner » The Boston Musical Intelligencer". Classical-scene.com. Retrieved 2013-07-25. 
  30. ^ a b "Born Schubert Player at Gardner » The Boston Musical Intelligencer". Classical-scene.com. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  31. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/arts/music/pianist-jeremy-denk-to-receive-avery-fisher-prize.html
  32. ^ "Official Website". 
  33. ^ "Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation Rising Stars Series". Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  34. ^ "Klavier-Festival Ruhr". Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  35. ^ "Prizewinners for the Ruhr Piano Festival Scholarship". 
  36. ^ Victoria Symphony http://victoriasymphony.ca/201415-season/ |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  37. ^ CharlieAlbright.com http://www.charliealbright.com/Documents/Press%20Kit/Concert%20Seasons/2014-2015%20Concert%20Season.pdf |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  38. ^ Gilmore, Molly (March 11, 2011). "Young musician destined for greatness". The Olympian. 
  39. ^ Nilsen, Richard (2011-11-05). "Pianist Charlie Albright steals Phoenix symphony show". Azcentral.com. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  40. ^ Freedman, Geraldine (January 27, 2012). "Review: Pianist Albright displays virtuosity at Massry Center". The Daily Gazette. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  41. ^ Cosentino, Lawrence (2012-05-16). "When Charlie met Igor". Lansingcitypulse.com. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  42. ^ Deagan, Gail (March 4, 2013). "Review: Pianist Albright dazzles alongside LSO". Journal & Courier Online. Gannett. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  43. ^ http://www.cortezjournal.com/article/20140306/NEWS01/140309918/A-starry-night-Pianist-Charlie-Albright-takes-a-packed-house-in-Cortez--
  44. ^ "Albright Shined in Rockport". Boston Musical Intelligencer. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 

External links[edit]