Harry Watts

Harry WattsA pioneer in the performance of George Gershwin’s piano repertoire, Harry Watts (1901-1962) taught at Eastman for 36 years. He joined the piano faculty in 1921, shortly after the School was founded. In 1942, Mr. Watts was named chairman of the secondary piano department. He wrote several music textbooks and served as an adjudicator at many music festivals. Balancing success in the classroom and on the stage, he cultivated a national reputation as a concert pianist. Mr. Watts frequently toured in a duo setting with pianist and Eastman colleague George MacNabb (1923-1960). As a guest artist, he performed with the Rochester Civic and Philharmonic Orchestras, the Dutchess County Symphony, and the Syracuse Symphony. He also remained active in the Rochester area as the music director and organist at Calvary Baptist Church. Within the congregation, he established the Calvary Choristers, which became a highly accomplished performing group. He also was the music director of the University Club of Rochester. Featured in early national broadcasts from this area, Mr. Watts became a staff artist for local radio stations and performed in Rochester’s first televised music production.


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