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"Robert Pritchard, Pianist", Historic 1962 LP

  • Broadcast in History
The Zurriane Show

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There was always a basic musicality, the authentic and assured ring of real artistry.” The New York Herald Tribute reference to Pritchard’s debut performance of Chopin’s Ballade in F minor as one filled with “passion and intensity,” equally describes his performance on this disc.  A pioneer in the field of cultural exchange in the 1950s and 1960s, Robert Pritchard performed throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America as well as in Africa during the emergence of the newly independent African nations, where he was lauded for his finely refined interpretive gifts. Rene Balbaud of UPI-Paris wrote of his concert in Senegal: “Robert Pritchard is the first man of the black race whom I have ever seen adapt himself to the Slavic poetry of Chopin, become German when playing Bach, French in Faure and turn back again into a man of his own race in his own music. Hands burn with a desire to applaud him, so great is the charm, so varied the total perfection of his performance.”
He was the author of the proposal for the Premier Festival Mondial des Arts Negres (First World Festival of Negro Arts) that took place in 1966 in Senegal (under the auspices of UNESCO and the government of Senegal), undoubtedly the greatest artistic manifestation of people of African descent the world had ever seen. As a precursor to this event, in 1965, Dr. Pritchard organized the American Festival of Negro Arts, which was the first month-long February celebration of Black History Month. As a human rights advocate, Robert Pritchard bears the distinction of facing the Ku Klux Klan at Stone Mountain Georgia, as well as being a leading participant in the South African Anti-Apartheid Movement. He is the Founder of the Panamerican-Panafrican Association, Inc., whose mission is to promote cultural, educational and economic exchange between peoples throughout the world representing various cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds.