Blair McMillen – piano

Blair McMillen has established himself as one of the most versatile and sought-after pianists today. The New York Times has described him as "new music's torchbearer," his playing as "riveting,” “prodigiously accomplished." Recent performances include Carnegie Hall, Moscow Conservatory, Miller Theatre, Bard Summerscape, (le) Poisson Rouge, the Aspen Music Festival, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Caramoor, the Library of Congress, Casals Hall (Tokyo), the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), and Musica Antica e Nuova at Columbia University. Concerto appearances have included the American Symphony Orchestra, the Juilliard Orchestra on a tour of Japan, the Albany Symphony, and the Zankel Band in New York City.

Known for his imaginative and daring programming, Mr. McMillen’s repertoire spans from late-medieval keyboard manuscripts to today’s up-and-coming younger generation of composers. Recent recitals have included performances of selections from the Codex Faenza (some of the earliest-surviving keyboard music in the world, composed in the early 15th-century), a New York recital of piano music inspired by the art of improvisation, and a “Composer Portrait” concert of music by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

His first solo CD Soundings; featuring music of Debussy, Scriabin, Liszt, and Bolcom; was released in 2004 to critical acclaim. More recent solo recordings include Powerhouse Pianists on Lumiere Records, Concert Music of Fred Hersch on Naxos, and Multiplicities: Born in ’38 on Centaur.

Dedicated to new and pathbreaking projects, Mr. McMillen is intensely committed to commissioning and performing the music of today. He has premiered hundreds of pieces, and constantly works with both established and emerging composers in commissioning new works for the piano. Pianist for the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players, he plays regularly with the American Modern Ensemble, the downtown NYC-based Avian Orchestra, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensembles, and the Locrian Chamber Players, among others.

Raised in San Francisco and Charlotte, NC; Mr. McMillen holds degrees from Oberlin College, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Juilliard School. A past winner of the Aspen Music Festival’s Time-Warner Award, he won the Gina Bachauer Competition and the Sony ES Grant for Musical Excellence while studying at Juilliard. Mr. McMillen serves on the piano and chamber music faculty at Bard College and Conservatory.