Home»NSA Masterclass Series - Past»Piano Masterclass with Blair McMillen – November 21, 2020

Piano Masterclass with Blair McMillen – November 21, 2020

Online Experience
November 21, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Tuition: $75 for performers, $45 for auditors
Registration Deadline: November 16, 2020
Performer Application Required (see below)

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Q&A for all

Performer Application

Record a 3-5 minute video of your piece, upload to YouTube, and include the link in your application below. Your submission will be reviewed and you will be notified whether or not you were chosen to perform.

Deadline: November 13, 2020


Hailed by the New York Times as “prodigiously accomplished and exciting” and as one of the piano’s “brilliant stars,” pianist Blair McMillen leads a musical life unbounded by convention.  He is known for his advocacy of living composers and contemporary music, as well as championing very early keyboard music and more recent neglected masterpieces.   For more than two decades he has divided his time as soloist, ensemble leader, music festival director, and educator.  

Blair McMillen has performed in major concert venues throughout New York City, the United States, and around the world. He has played frequently with the Knights, the International Contemporary Ensemble, the New York Philharmonic, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and jazz legends Fred Hersch and Don Byron.   He is a member of several ensembles, including American Modern Ensemble, the six-piano “supergroup” Grand Band, and Perspectives Ensemble, among others.  For 11 years, McMillen was pianist for the Naumburg Award-winning Da Capo Chamber Players. 

His first solo CD “Soundings” was released to critical acclaim in 2000.  Since then, Blair McMillen has been featured on dozens of commercially-released solo and ensemble recordings, spanning numerous musical genres.  A recent album of contemporary American two-piano music with Stephen Gosling, “Powerhouse Pianists II,” was declared “one of the finest piano recordings of the year” by NPR.

McMillen is the co-founder and co-director of the Rite of Summer Music Festival, an outdoor contemporary-music series in New York.  Celebrating its ninth season in 2019, Rite of Summer is the only annual music festival on Governors Island, a place the New Yorker has called “an enormous playground for the arts.”  

Blair McMIllen holds degrees from Oberlin College, The Juilliard School, and the Manhattan School of Music.   At Juilliard, he was principal soloist on a tour of Japan with the Juilliard Orchestra.   While there, he also won the Juilliard Gina Bachauer Competition and the Sony “Elevated Standards” Career Grant. 

Having taught at Bard College and Conservatory since 2005, McMillen also serves on the piano faculty at Mannes at the New School in New York.  He is grateful for the many teachers who have inspired him; including Jerome Lowenthal, Robert McDonald, Joseph Kalichstein, Sophia Rosoff, and Byron Janis.

“When played by the formidable Mr. McMillen, any piece sounds terrific.” – Anthony Tommasini, New York Times   


Going Virtual with NSATechnology Requirements

We recommend using a wired internet connection for the best experience. If you are unable to connect your desktop, laptop or tablet to the internet using an Ethernet cable, a strong, stable Wi-Fi connection and/or cellular data may be used. Check the speed and strength of your Wi-Fi at speedtest.net; connections of at least 20 mbps (download) and 10 mbps (upload) are best. If yours is below 10 mbps (download) or 5 mbps (upload), you may need an upgrade from your internet provider. Upload speeds below 5 mbps will produce poor quality video and audio. 

We also recommend that participants have access to an external microphone and webcam for best video and audio quality.