The first African-American concert pianist to achieve international superstardom. André Watts is the son of an American career soldier stationed in Germany and a Hungarian refugee. Watts began studying the violin at age four. By the time he was six he made it known that his preference was for the piano, so his mother, a pianist herself, gave him his first lessons. At age 10 he performed a Haydn concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He burst upon the music world at the age of 16, when Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic in their Young People’s Concerts, broadcast nationwide on CBS-TV. He became an overnight sensation. At age 26, he was the youngest person ever to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Yale University.
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