Nineteen-year-old Nicholas King is making his mark in the classical music world as “the next Andre Watts,” which is no mean achievement. Watts ascended to instant stardom at the age of 16 in 1963, when he was called in as a last-minute replacement for an ailing Glenn Gould as soloist with the New York Philharmonic. Pulling the awesomely difficult Liszt Piano Concerto in E-flat Major out of his bag like a magician effortlessly pulls a rabbit out of his hat, Watts performed like a trouper, earning a standing ovation from both the audience and the orchestra and an instant contract with Columbia Records. Young Mr. King may not yet be a piano superstar, but he has appeared on NPR's prestigious From the Top, and he performs a recital this weekend, to raise funds for his tuition at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music. The daunting program includes, among other works, Chopin's majestic Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise; Beethoven's towering Waldstein Sonata; and two Liszt fingerbenders, the Rigoletto Paraphrase and the Mephisto Waltz.

Sat., Aug. 29, 4 p.m., 2009

LA Weekly