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Soloist an 'absolute powerhouse' says Thakar, former conductor

November 12, 1998|By KATE COLEMAN

Terrence Wilson was an 8-year-old in the Bronx when he chanced upon a classical radio station. After that, whenever a piano was available, he amazed his family and teachers by easily playing pieces he had heard on the radio or recordings.

--cont. from lifestyle--

Wilson, who turned 23 last week, has been amazing audiences in performances all over the United States. He's also played in France and Switzerland. Chosen as soloist by Maryland Symphony Orchestra music director candidate Markand Thakar, Wilson will play Prokofiev's "Piano Concerto No. 3" Saturday, Nov. 14, and Sunday, Nov. 15, at The Maryland Theatre.

He had performed with Colorado Symphony when Thakar was associate conductor.

"He's an absolute powerhouse," Thakar says.

Wilson also remembers playing with Thakar.

"Our experience was awesome," Wilson says.

Wilson's parents had been professional singers - rhythm and blues, not classical music. They gave up performing when they settled down and had a family.

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Although classical music was not his parents' field, they were able to find the right paths for their son. Wilson appeared with Philadelphia Orchestra as winner of a student competition and made his professional debut with the same ensemble in January 1992 at the age of 16. Wilson says he realized then that he wanted to be a professional pianist.

Wilson is working toward a bachelor's degree in music, majoring in piano at The Juilliard School. He practices about five to six hours a day. In his spare time, he loves to go to the opera, listen to jazz, especially the music of jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, and hang out with friends. Wilson just got his driver's license and enjoys driving off in the car.

"I feel like a teenager," he says with a laugh.

He is looking forward to Prelude, the preconcert discussion about the MSO program, an hour before the weekend concerts.

"There's nothing more important than giving the audience a sense that you're a real person," he says.

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