Hailed by The New York Times as “new music’s torchbearer,” pianist Blair McMillen began the fall with a series of southern dates, including a season-opening performance of works by Annie Gosfield, Don Byron, John Cage, and more, for New Music New College:
“McMillen jumped nimbly from the role of vocalizing pianist to wood thumper and toy piano maestro, all the while creating expressive phrases and musical lines that beguiled and communicated.
McMillen also spoke from the stage, introducing each selection and composer with an easy familiarity and unpretentious enthusiasm. From words to the music he produced, there was a sense of pure intent to share his own adventurous curiosity that naturally drew his audience to him with ears wide open. His is a virtuosity not often seen on stage.” — The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sept. 14, 2014
This month, McMillen has performed a series of recitals, beginning with ”On the Verge” at Georgia Southern University. He then headed to his home state, North Carolina, for a tour of dates at Central Piedmont Community College, for the Charlotte Piano Teachers Forum, Queens University of Charlotte, and Davidson College.
Next month he returns to North Carolina for East Carolina University’s NewMusic Initiative for a residency, including master classes, readings of student compositions, and a recital of new and recent works.
The Summer of 2014 saw McMillen in a different kind of role, as co-founder and -director of Rite of Summer, an annual music festival offering new and recent works in live performances on New York City’s Governer’s Island.
Learn about the full slate of summer concerts — including a season-ending concert with McMillen performing as part of Grand Band, a piano sextet supergroup of new music’s master pianists, featuring Vicky Chow, David Friend, Paul Kerekes, Lisa Moore, Isabelle O’Connell, and McMillen as well.