Senior Harry Jamison Plays Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2

Harry Jamison is a man of many talents. Jamison, a senior, is majoring in music and math and minoring in physics. That would be more than enough to turn the typical college student into a nervous wreck, but on top of that, he is performing Rachmaninoff’s monstrously difficult second piano concerto with the University Orchestra on November 7. If Jamison is feeling any stress though, he isn’t showing it. In fact, when the final full rehearsal with the orchestra landed on Halloween, the self-proclaimed “Cheez-it enthusiast” was relaxed enough to dress up as Waldo and disappear into the orchestra.

Jamison’s famously quirky sense of humor is just one indicator of a voracious mind that seeks to make connections across disciplines. He took advantage of an award from Pitt’s new Office of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity to analyze piano music by French impressionists and compose his own original work for the piano. Discussing his analysis of music by Fauré he says that, “My biggest surprise was that the music isn’t as complicated as I thought it would be, but at the same time, it’s so much more complicated than I thought it would be.”

Jamison has been playing piano since the age of 9, and currently studies under Natalie Phillips at Pitt. He plans to attend graduate school for piano performance and is preparing to audition for various programs in the spring. You can hear him perform with the University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday November 7 on a program that alsoinclude the work of two music department alumni: Ted Zellers (BA ’12) will be the soloist in Rimsky Korsakov's Trombone Concerto and the orchestra will perform Kerrith Livengood's (PhD ’12) composition The Land Vaguely Waving.

Watch the interview with Harry Jamison produced by the OUR and focusing on his summer research project. You also get to see him play music by Fauré and an original composition.