- Featured: Roger Wright
- Release Date: 5/15/2007
Roger Wright, a young, dashing, phenomenal pianist is described as "elegant and charismatic" by the American Record Guide, and praised for his astute musical intelligence by any who have heard him in concert. While these well deserved accolades are justified and even somewhat understated, what really sets this marvelous musical talent apart is his extraordinary ability to communicate with audiences in a manner that is exciting as it is fresh. A native Texan, Roger has played to critical and audience acclaim throughout the United States and abroad including New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Houston, San Diego, Calgary, Sydney, Munich, Pretoria and Dublin. He has performed onstage and in both radio and TV broadcasts in these and many other settings. Wright burst onto the national spotlight by winning the 24th Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall in New York City. His international reputation was further enhanced when he was eliminated from the 2000 Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia. The decision of the jury precipitated mass protests from listeners who followed the competition via national radio broadcast and worldwide web cast. In response to this unprecedented outpouring of support, the ABC, principal sponsor of the competition, marketed a debut recording of Wright's performances at the competition. This CD, "Piano Masterpieces" was later named "CD of the Year" by renowned Australian music critic Neville Cohn. His recording of Between Five Bells from this CD earned composer Peter Sculthorpe the Australian Performing Rights Association's (APRA) Award for the Most Performed Contemporary Classical Composition of 2001. Wright was one of 30 competitors selected for the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, where he was an audience favorite. He was a finalist at the 3rd Esther Honens International Piano Competition in Canada and Gold Medal winner of the 2003 San Antonio International Piano Competition where he also won awards for Best Performance of the Commissioned Piece and Best Performance of a Romantic Work. Roger distinguishes himself not only by his demeanor and great talent, but he also thrives on meeting and interacting with the orchestra members, youth performers and fans. Unlike many concert performers, Roger also seeks out opportunities to play before young musicians and children to share his passion for music. His genuinely charming and affable personality make him both a critical and popular guest artist in any setting and worthy of the appellation, "a phenomenal pianist", offered by the St. Petersburg Times. Interestingly, Roger (sometimes known as "Trey") was the winner of the 2004 National Scrabble Championship in New Orleans. He has appeared on ABC's The Jimmy Kimmel Show, NBC's Identity and The Today Show, CBS Good Morning America as well as ESPN, CNN, and GSN's Lingo. Roger currently resides in Los Angeles where he enjoys performing, teaching, collaborating, and writing his own compositions.