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'Josh Wright' hits No. 1 on Billboard's Classical Traditional chart

Published: Wednesday, April 27 2011 4:15 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — This week, concert pianist Josh Wright's debut CD reached No. 1 on Billboard's "Classical Traditional" chart. Next week, the 23-year-old will graduate from the University of Utah with a master's degree on May 6.

“We are so proud of this Billboard success, which proves that people love listening to great music performed by stellar musicians, and Josh is definitely one of them,” said Bob Ahlander, director of music and film at Deseret Book Company, in a news release. The album has spent three weeks on the list and was No. 3 last week.

No. 2 on the list is the "Men of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir," which topped the list for at least the last two weeks and has been on the list for 19 weeks. It topped Billboard's "Classical Overall" chart earlier this year.

Both albums are currently on Billboard's "Classical Albums" chart. Josh Wright's self-titled album is No. 10, and "Men of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir" is No. 6 and has been on the list for 18 weeks, including a No. 1 spot.

"Josh Wright" marks the sixth No. 1 album Shadow Mountain Records and Deseret Book has produced in the past year. Those include Jenny Oaks Baker's "Then Sings My Soul," Paul Cardall’s "New Life," and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s "Heavensong," "100" and "Men of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir."

Produced by Emmy-award winner Sam Cardon, "Josh Wright" weaves classical masterpieces and LDS hymns.

Wright has performed in prestigious competitions including the 2010 Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition, to which only 38 performers from around the world were invited. Wright was one of five Americans to play, and the only Utahn. He has also performed at Carnegie Hall, competed at the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland, and has appeared multiple times with the Utah Symphony.

See his website at www.joshwrightpiano.com to see him performing "La Campanella," considered one of the hardest pieces in the world, on two pianos.

Billboard Classical Traditional Chart:

1. Josh Wright, "Josh Wright"

2. Mormon Tabernacle Choir, "Men of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir"

3. "Decca TBD"

4. Eric Whitacre, "Lights and Gold"

5. Andrea Bocelli, Marina Domashenko, Eva Mei, Bryn Terfel, "Carmen: Duets and Arias"

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