Andrew De Grado, pianist

1960-1998

 
 

Pianist Andrew De Grado performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America as a recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist with orchestras in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C. Born in New Jersey, he started his piano studies at the age of 4 and began giving full solo recitals by age 12, including an appearance at Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, New York City.

Andrew’s impeccable ear and feeling for the music he performed made him a much sought-after collaborator for dozens of highly respected artists, including cellists Nathaniel Rosen and Steven Isserlis, bassist/composer Edgar Meyer, and pianist/conductor Ian Hobson.

Also, Andrew collaborated with violinist Joshua Bell in numerous performances in the United States including Hawaii at the Maui Community Arts & Cultural Center, as well as abroad. Far East tours included major concert halls in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Seoul. In Japan, the tour included Symphony Hall in Osaka, Telephia Hall in Nagoya, and Casals Hall and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. In 1993, he and Mr. Bell traveled to Italy to perform recitals in Rome, Genoa, Sardinia, Bologna, and Milan. In 1996 they performed in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and another recital in Japan. In 1998, both Mr. De Grado and Mr. Bell’s Spain tour began with a performance in the Music National Auditorium in Madrid, which was to be followed by additional concerts in the City of Oviedo and Bilbao, Spain.

Other credits include performances at the Phillips Art Gallery and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Chicago Cultural Center. Andrew gave several performances on WNYC's “Young American Artists” series and NPR's “Performance Today.” He appeared three times with Mr. Bell on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson.

Andrew De Grado was the recipient of many honors, among them, a Fellowship and the Performer's Certificate “in recognition of outstanding musical performance in Piano” from Indiana University. Also, he was a prize winner at the Helen Hart International Piano Competition and the Washington International Piano Competition, as well as twice winning Indiana University's Concerto Competition.

Andrew received his Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Kean University in Union, New Jersey, where he studied with Carol Ferri. He received his Master of Music degree, Cum Laude, in piano performance as well as the highly coveted Performer’s Certificate, from Indiana University, where he studied with Zadel Skolovsky, Michel Block and Menahem Pressler. Previously, he was a teaching assistant to Menahem Pressler while in the doctoral program at Indiana University School of Music. He also studied in New York City with Genia Robinor. Mr. De Grado was a member of the faculty for the String Academy at Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. Beginning in 1991, he was Professor of Piano at the University of Illinois School of Music in Urbana-Champaign.

Andrew George De Grado was on tour in Madrid, Spain with Joshua Bell when he suffered an allergic reaction, went into anaphylactic shock, and then into a coma, where he remained until his death on February 4, 1998. He was 37 years old.