ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

“A vigorous, carefully shaped… [and] polished performance, with elegance and energy finely balanced.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Pianist and composer Priya Mayadas’ playing has been described as “hauntingly beautiful…reveling in the musical colors and shades” (The Statesman), and as “radiant, spiritual and eloquent” (NY Concert Review), “full of breadth and impassioned fervor” (The Strad).  Ms. Mayadas “vividly evokes the emotions” of the work (New York Times) and her “persuasive and sympathetic playing… clearly indicates pianism of the first rank” (The Independent). She has given solo recitals and performed throughout the U.S., including at the Ravinia Festival Rising Stars Series, Caramoor Festival, Dame Myra Hess Debut Recital Series, Carnegie Hall’s Zankel and Weill Recital Hall, the Morgan Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bargemusic, Merkin Hall, Jordan Hall, and on tour in Asia. She has performed as soloist with the New Jersey Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Macon Symphony, Eastern Music Festival orchestra, among others. She has been interviewed and featured on live broadcasts on National Public Radio, WGBH/Boston, WFMT/Chicago, VPR/Vermont and on WXXI and WQXR/New York. 

 
Born into a family of concert pianists in India, Ms. Mayadas began playing Mozart by ear at age three, performed in public at age four, and at age nine became one of the youngest winners of a Broadcast Music Inc. student composer award for her string quartet. She has received awards and top prizes from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, The Abby Whiteside Foundation, Artists International, the New Jersey Governor’s Arts Education Award Council, and ASCAP. A student of Peter Serkin, John Corigliano, Miriam Gideon and Patricia Zander, she graduated from New England Conservatory with honors and distinction.
 
Ms. Mayadas is the founder of The Concerto Project, whose mission is to create, promote and sustain new works for our 21st century repertoire.

ARTIST STATEMENT

My mission is to emancipate contemporary music.

Centuries of well-intentioned traditions and ideologies, of patronage, of ‘protective’ publishing, and of intellectual property practices relegate some of our best contemporary compositions to obscurity, unheard and forgotten.

Modern composers are handicapped by a challenging business model, one characterized by severely limited distribution and promotion. We need to reinvent the culture of contemporary music production to modify anachronistic policies which maximize a work’s exclusivity at the expense of its exposure.

Current practices effectively limit the number of times new works get played. Granting a performer exclusive rights to play a work, with a sole emphasis on promoting premieres of new works, and a territorial commissioning practice which creates ‘regional locks’ unwittingly robs the work of the multiple performances and diverse artistic interpretations needed to establish a fully dimensional presence (‘life’) in the public sphere.

This treatment further handicaps a genre in which new works are already perceived by listeners as complex and hard to grasp and by performers as a challenge to master, perceptions which are mitigated by repeated exposure, familiarity, understanding and a long term engagement with the work.  Many of these contemporary pieces languish after one performance.  

This counterproductive system is unique to contemporary music; audiences are not offered crucial repeated access to a  new work in a season, something that they have come to expect in theatre, dance, and visual arts. In addition, there is a considerable lag time between the work’s creation and reception by audiences, a lag which makes our contemporary works rather un-contemporary, and not representative of the evolving vocabulary and current practices of our composers.We urgently need to establish new patronage and distribution models to create an environment in which new works can both prosper and endure, for the sake of our contemporary repertoire. 

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