Instruments: Piano and Organ
Date of Birth: 1951
Place of Birth: Selma, Alabama
Randall Atcheson began his piano studies at the age of six in Clanton, Alabama. By the time he was nine, he got bored with being a prodigy merely on the piano. He began pounding the floor with his feet as if he was playing the organ during his preacher father's Sunday services. Taking the hint, his family found a small organ on which he could learn to play. At age twelve he was enrolled in the Samford University School of Music where he studied on a piano and organ scholarship.
Transferring to New York's Juilliard School in 1971, Atcheson pursued a dual musical course. He is the only student ever allowed a double major in these instruments, studying with famed teachers Sascha Gorodnitzki (piano) and Anthony Newman (organ). He completed his masters in piano in May of 1977 and then a doctorate in organ.
In 1975, Atcheson, then 23, won first place in Juilliard's organ competition and a coveted solo appearance with the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center. In the first public performance on the new pipe organ in Alice Tully Hall, Atcheson played a rarely heard Hindemith concerto, causing the New York Times to rave: "The incisiveness and unflagging energy of his performance made the piece sound almost more significant than it is".
Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame