April 29, 2018
John Kenneth Adams, 83, passed away quietly on 29 April near his home in Hopkins, SC. Adams came to the University of South Carolina in 1964 as a Professor of Piano and Piano Literature, eventually earning the rank of Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He deftly balanced teaching and performing on an international scale. He established musical competitions, recital series, and concert festivals. His students won many prestigious competitions. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri and earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Yale University School of Music. He won a Fulbright Award to the Royal Academy of Music, London. He also studied in Zermatt, Switzerland. He was a highly requested artist at concerts worldwide; in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America–where he performed over 150 concerts in Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Colombia, under the sponsorship of the United States Information Service. In South Korea he was renowned for his performances, masterclasses, and lectures. Professor Adams was a member of the French Piano Institute in Paris for seven summers. He was a member of the Royal Overseas League in London and established the John Kenneth Adams Scholarship in Music at the Royal Academy of Music. Professor Adams presented many radio broadcasts for the South Carolina Educational Radio Network, and created a series of Piano Portraits. He was a past president of the South Carolina Music Teachers Association, and is a founding member of the Varna International Masterclass for Piano in Bulgaria. His awards include the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Missouri, the Award of Merit from Yale University, the USC Mungo Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the South Carolina Music Teachers Association. In 2014, he was selected for the elite company of Steinway Artists. Professor Adams is survived by sisters (Jane Ferril and Mary Frances Penechar), five nieces and nephews, and an extended family.