Blair McMillen has established himself as one of the most versatile and sought-after pianists today. The New York Times has described him as “riveting,” “prodigiously accomplished and exciting,” and as one of the piano’s “brilliant stars.”
He has performed in major venues both traditional and avant-garde: from Carnegie Hall, the Moscow Conservatory, Lincoln Center, Caramoor, Miller Theatre, and the Library of Congress; to (le) Poisson Rouge, Galapagos, and the Knitting Factory. Highlights from recent seasons include the Prokofiev Piano Concerto #1 at the Bard Music Festival, the Walter Piston Concertino for Piano in Carnegie Hall, and numerous appearances with the New York Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Albany Symphony.
Blair McMillen leads a multifarious musical life as pianist, chamber musician, conductor, and improviser. He thrives on playing a wide variety of musical styles: from medieval keyboard manuscripts to improvisation-based music of all types: from Classical/Romantic-era piano repertoire to the music of young 21st-century composers. Known for imaginative and daring programming, Mr. McMillen has premiered hundreds of new works both as a soloist and with numerous ensembles. He constantly collaborates with composers and artists of other genres in commissioning works that stretch the boundaries of the piano and the traditional recital format.
Mr. McMillen is pianist for the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players, the American Modern Ensemble, and the six-piano Grand Band, among others. He is the co-founder and co-director of the Rite of Summer Music Festival, an alt-classical outdoor concert series. Held on New York City’s Governors Island, Rite of Summer celebrates its3rd successful season in 2013 with concerts by Bang on a Can All-Stars, Ljova and the Kontraband, and many others.
Blair McMillen holds degrees from Oberlin College, the Juilliard School, and Manhattan School of Music. He lives in New York City, and has served on the music faculty at Bard College and Conservatory since 2005.
(July 2013. Please discard previously dated materials and contact firstname.lastname@example.org before making any alterations or cuts.)
2014/15 Program Offerings
- The Faenza Codex, Here and Now
Francesco Landini, Guillaume de Machaut, Anonymous, Respighi, Frescobaldi, Jon Magnussen, John Adams, Jacopo da Bologna, Fabrizio De Rossi Re, Giacinto Scelsi
- Caffeinated! / Calmative...
Daniel Felsenfeld, Marc Mellits, John Adams, John Kaefer, Karen Tanaka, Frederic Rzewski
- The Legacy of the American Piano
Ives, Cage, Frederic Rzewski, Morton Feldman, Elliott Carter, Copland
- Pictures at an Exhibition
Granados, Cage, Liszt, Debussy, Mussorgsky
Current & Recent Programs
- Concerto Offerings
J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052
Keyboard Concerto No. 4 in A Major, BWV 1055
Piano Concerto in D Major, Hob. XVIII
Concerto No. 17 in G Major, K. 453
Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488
Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15
Concerto No. 2 in Bb major, Op. 19
Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, “Emperor”
Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21
César Franck (1822-1890)
Symphonic Variations, M. 46
Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894)
Piano Concerto No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 70
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 22
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16
Ernest Chausson (1855-1899)
Concerto (arr. Jon Magnussen)
Piano Concerto No. 1, Sz. 83
“Movements” for Piano and Orchestra
Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments
Piano Concerto No. 1 in Db Major, Op. 10
Rhapsody in Blue
Concerto in F Major
Piano Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra, Op. 35
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102
Elliott Carter (1908-2012)
Double Concerto for Harpsichord and Piano
Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
Piano Concerto, Op. 38
György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Lee Hyla (b. 1952)
Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra No. 2 (1991)
Carl Schimmel (b. 1975)
Concerto for Piano (2009)
- Rhythm Nation: Piano as Percussion
Of the many elements that define music, rhythm has arguably played the most crucial role in the development and furthering of piano repertoire over the past 100 years. What does it really mean when people call the piano a percussion instrument? You wil...
- Piano 20/21
This is a casual hour-long journey through some of the multifarious trends that constitute 20th- and 21st-century piano music. “Piano 20/21” is geared for pianists, composers, music-lovers, and non-musicians alike. For this program, Blair wil...
Blair McMillen has nearly 20 years of teaching experience, and has given masterclasses at numerous schools and communities around the country. He has presented masterclasses to musicians of all ages and levels, and is comfortable coaching soloists and ...
- Extended Residency
The main goal of an extended residency is to allow students to nurture a working relationship with a performing artist over the course of several days. The time period allows for interaction well beyond what is possible in a one-time workshop or master...