Category : NSA Masterclass Series – Past

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NSA Masterclass Series: Bruce Uchimura, cello – August 21, 2021 (Online)

Online Experience

August 21, 2021 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Tuition: Complimentary
Register below to receive Zoom Information

10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Masterclass

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Q&A with Guest Artist


Generously Underwritten by:

Patricia Barnes, Vice President
EEME, Inc.


BRUCE UCHIMURA, cello

Bruce Uchimura is Professor of Cello at Western Michigan University and was director of the WMU Symphony Orchestra for 22 years. He was Associate Conductor of the Augusta (Georgia) Symphony Orchestra from 1985-87 where he developed a highly successful Symphonic Pops and Educational Series. He also formed and conducted the Western String Chamber Orchestra from 1987-1998. In 1998, he took over the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra. The WMU Orchestra won the Downbeat Magazine Award for Best College Symphony Orchestra in 2005, and was invited to perform at the Michigan Music Educator’s Conference in 2007 and 2016. The WMU Orchestra was the third-place winner in the 2015 “American Prize” media-based competition’s Best College Orchestra category.

Mr. Uchimura is in much demand as an educator and clinician and has guest conducted numerous All-State and Honors Orchestras throughout the country.  He was trained at the Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music and was Cellist of the highly acclaimed Merling Trio (with his wife, Pianist, Susan Wiersma-Uchimura and Violinist Renata Artman-Knific) for over 30 years. He has played Cello recitals and given master classes throughout the United States and was a charter faculty member at the ENCORE School for Strings Summer program. He is also on the faculty of the ARIA Summer Music Academy. He was awarded “String Teacher of the Year” by the American String Teachers Association Michigan Chapter in 2010. His primary teachers were Leonard Rose, Channing Robbins and Alan Harris.

Mr. Uchimura’s WMU and private cello students have gone on to impressive university, conservatory, and graduate programs as well as securing professional jobs in orchestras and teaching positions. Mr. Uchimura serves as the advisor to the WMU/ American String Teachers Association Student Chapter and is a strong advocate of entrepreneurship in music.



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. 

NSA Masterclass Series: Bruce Walker, cello – June 26, 2021 (Online)

Online Experience

June 26, 2021 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Tuition: Complimentary
Register below to receive Zoom Information

10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Masterclass

12:00 am – 12:30 pm
Q&A with Guest Artist


Generously Underwritten by:

Anonymous Donor


Bruce Walker, Jr.

Conductor – Educator – Cellist

Bruce Walker is an Associate Professor of Music at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, WA, Music Director for the Yakima Youth Symphony in Yakima, WA, President of the Washington state chapter of the American String Teachers Association, on the Board of Directors for the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and the 2021 Music Educator of the Year by the Washington State Music Educators Association. Duties at CBC include teaching second-year music theory and aural skills, music appreciation, and conducting the Columbia Basin College Orchestra. During the summer months, Mr. Walker works for many workshops, festivals, and institutes throughout the Northwest including the Walla Walla Suzuki Institute, Montana Suzuki Institute, Pipestone Summer Music Camp, Boise’s All-Thing-Cello Camp, and the Music, Meadows, and Mountains Retreat. Previously, he has worked as a faculty member with the Youth Excellence on Stage Academy in collaboration with American Voices, a US non-government, non-profit, cultural exchange organization. Through this organization, he has conducted, traveled, and taught cello in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.

As a conductor, Mr. Walker has participated in some of the finest conducting workshops and music festivals across the United States such as the Marrowstone Music Festival, Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians, various workshops sponsored by the Conductor’s Guild, Astoria Music Festival, Rose City International Conductor’s Workshop, and the University of Oregon Orchestral Conducting Institute. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Central Washington University Symphony, Oregon East Symphony, Yakima Symphony, Portland Columbia Symphony, and the Musicians of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. Memorable for his unique style of positive student engagement, analogies, and his knowledge of the orchestral repertoire, Mr. Walker is also in high demand as an adjudicator and guest conductor for many All-State and Honors Orchestras throughout the United States, most recently conducting the 2021 Nevada All-State Symphony Orchestra.

As a cellist, Mr. Walker remains very active as a traditional and Suzuki cello teacher, solo performer, and orchestral cellist. He has appeared as soloist with the Marrowstone Music Festival Orchestra, the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra, and most recently with the Oregon East Symphony performing Luigi Boccherini (arr. Grutzmacher) – Cello Concerto No. 9 in B flat. He has also held principal cello positions with the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Orchestra, Marrowstone Music Festival Orchestra, Central Washington University Symphony, Wenatchee Valley Symphony, and the Pierre Monteux School Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Mr. Walker won numerous competitions with Trio Giocoso and the DeKalb and Byron String Quartets. Currently, he is an on-call cellist to the Oregon East Symphony (Pendelton, Oregon), Walla Walla Symphony (Walla Walla, Washington), Mid-Columbia Symphony (Richland, Washington) and Yakima Symphony (Yakima, Washington).

Mr. Walker earned Bachelor of Music degrees in Music Education and Cello Performance from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and a Master of Music degree from Central Washington University focusing on Orchestral Conducting and Cello Performance. In the fall of 2019, he began his Doctorate of Music Arts degree in Music Education through Boston University. His primary teachers have been Kangho Lee and John Michel (cello), Dr. Jeffery Meyer, Michael Jinbo, Dr. Nikolas Caoile, Kenneth Woods, and Lawrence Golan (conducting), and Dr. Beth Cantrell, Priscilla Jones, Dr. Andrea Yun, and the late H. Glenda Piek (Suzuki cello).

When not in the classroom, on the podium working with ensembles, or teaching cello lessons, he enjoys hiking and traveling around the Pacific Northwest, enjoying time outside around a BBQ pit and smoker sampling new culinary creations, or shopping for and admiring argyle socks.


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. 

NSA Masterclass Series: Dr. Ka-Wai Yu, cello – April 17, 2021 (Online)

Online Experience

April 17, 2021 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Tuition: Complimentary
Register below to receive Zoom Information

9:30 am – 11:30 am
Masterclass

11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Q&A with Guest Artist


Generously Underwritten by:


DR. KA-WAI YU, cello

Dr. Ka-Wai Yu is Assistant Professor of Music at Dixie State University, where he teaches cello and string chamber music. He previously taught at Eastern Illinois University and Indiana Wesleyan University. In great demand as a clinician, Dr. Yu has given master classes in numerous universities and institutions in North America and Asia. He is the Co-Director of the Castle Rock Music Camp in DSU. He has also taught in music camps and workshops in Illinois, Georgia and Michigan, as well as in Hong Kong, among them the Blue Lake Fine Arts. He has served as adjudicator, held clinics, and guest-conducted regularly at various high schools, youth orchestras, and string festivals in the Southwest and Midwest, USA. Dr. Yu is the President-Elect of the Utah Chapter of the American String Teachers Association. He has presented in the national and regional conferences of ASTA, the Historical Keyboard Society of North America and Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association. He is President of the Cello Society of Southern Utah.

Currently the Principal Cellist of Southwest Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Yu has performed at major concert halls in Canada, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. He is vivid as a chamber musician, and has been a member of the Zion Trio, Ensemble Finesse, and the period-instrument ensembles Cosmopolitan Baroque and Concentus.  He has appeared in the Aspen Music Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, Orford Arts Center, Toronto Summer Music Academy, Vancouver Early Music Festival, among others. His recent solo performances include concerto appearances with Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Illinois, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Chamber Orchestra, Dixie State Symphony Orchestra, and Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra. His performances have been broadcast on RTHK and WILL-FM. His transcription of Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto for cello and string quartet has been published by A-R Editions, Inc.

Dr. Yu obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he studied with cellist Brandon Vamos of the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet. He also holds a Master of Music in Cello Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Music with first-class honors from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His other major mentors have included conductors Maurice Peress and Angela Tam, cellists Helga Winold, Csaba Onczay, David Starkweather and Ming-Yuen Cheung, singers Raymond Fu and Chiu-May Wong, and viola da gambist Wendy Gillespie. He has also studied chamber music with members of the American String Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet, Pacifica Quartet and Parker Quartet.


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. 

NSA Masterclass Series: Ferenc Cseszko, violin/viola – April 24, 2021 (In Person!)

In-Person Experience

April 24, 2021 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Historic Fifth Street School Auditorium (Seating limited to 70)

Tuition: Complimentary
Registration Deadline: April 23, 2021

10:00 am – 11:40 am
Masterclass

11:45 am – 12:00 pm
Recital
(Scroll for Program)

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Meet the Artist


Parking will be available at the Historic Fifth Street School (Home to NSA) and in the city garage across the street.

Health Protocols followed by NSA are as followed:

  • Masks are required
  • Temperatures will be checked at the door
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided and must be utilized
  • All seats and commonly touched surfaces will be disinfected prior to use

Program

Fritz Kreisler:  Miniature Viennese March
Fritz Kreisler:  Schön Rosmarin
Pablo de Sarasate:  Zigeunerweisen

Jae Ahn-Benton, piano


FERENC CSESZKO, Violinist/Violist

Hungarian-American violinist/violist, pedagogue, and orchestra conductor, Dr. Ferenc Cseszko joined the Nevada School of the Arts in 2019 as a violin, viola, and strings chamber music faculty.  His appointment followed 18 years of teaching/performing in Academics while an Associate Professor of Violin/Viola and Director of the Orchestra Program at the University of Idaho (2003-18), and Assistant Professor of Violin/Viola at Fort Hays State University (Kansas, 2000-03).  In addition, Dr. Cseszko served as Artist-in-Residence at the Universidad Juan N. Corpas in Bogotá, Colombia (2003-2009).  His main activities at that institution included regular masterclass and workshop presentations, as well as solo and faculty chamber music recitals presented at various local academic institutions, such as the Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano.       

In addition to Colombia, Dr. Cseszko presented recitals and clinics at concert venues and music festivals in Austria (Bregenz), Croatia (Dubrovnik), Germany (Frankfurt, Munich and Giessen), Hungary (Budapest), Italy (Rome, Ancona), Serbia (Belgrade, Novi Sad and Subotica), Switzerland (Sion), throughout the United States, Canada (Vancouver, B.C.), and Mexico (Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey).

As an orchestral musician, he held positions in over a dozen professional orchestras, including the Spokane Symphony, Wichita Grand Opera, Nevada Ballet Orchestra, Madison Symphony (Wisconsin), and the Budafoki Dohnányi Zenekar (Hungary; including its 10-city Mexican tour with Jesus López Cobos conducting). Currently, he is performing with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Las Vegas Sinfonietta, and Opera Las Vegas.  

As an orchestra conductor, Dr. Cseszko frequently led festival and university orchestras in the U.S. and abroad, such as the Orquesta Filarmónica de Universidad Juan N. Corpas at the Teatro Colón in Bogotá, Colombia, the National Chiayi University Symphony Orchestra (Taiwan), and the Washington Idaho Symphony Orchestra on subscription concerts. 

Born in the former Yugoslavia to Hungarian parents, Dr. Cseszko earned a Conservatory Diploma from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary, a Master of Music degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  His teachers included Tyrone Greive, János Pallagi, Sándor Devich, Peter Lissauer, Eszter Perényi, and Michael Barta (violin and chamber music) and David E. Becker (orchestral conducting). In addition, he performed on masterclasses given by Yehudi Menuhin, Sidney Harth, Michael Tree, Lóránd Fenyves, György Pauk, and Elmar Oliviera. 

NSA Masterclass Series: Micah Yui, piano – April 10, 2021 (Online)

photo: Philip Pirolo

Online Experience
April 10, 2021 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Tuition: $75 for performers, $45 for auditors
Registration Deadline: April 8, 2021

10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Masterclass

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Break

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Q&A for all


MICAH YUI, Pianist

Described by the Los Angeles Times as playing with “blazing enthusiasm, power, and technical assurance,” pianist, Micah Yui, has had a versatile performance career.

Yui made her solo recital at the age of ten and orchestral debut at the age of thirteen in Canada. She has given solo recitals around the world, including venues in Zurich, Tokyo, New York, Toronto, and Copenhagen. Yui has given radio performances on CBC, NHK, and WQXR and orchestral performances with the Syracuse, Edmonton, Victoria, Montreal Metropolitan, Asheville, and Baltimore Chamber orchestras. As a chamber musician, Yui has performed with many of the preeminent performing artists in the country, including Matt Haimovitz, VictorDanchenko, Robert de Maine, Paul Coletti, the St. Lawrence string quartet, and others. A frequent collaborator with Daniel Heifetz, Yui toured the country performing with “Heifetz and the classical Band”. Yui has a love of lieder and most recently worked on songs by Schubert with the great vocal coach, Graham Johnson, at Songfest on the Colburn campus in Los Angeles. She is the recipient of three Canada Council grants, the Alberta Achievement Award and the Edmonton Civic Award. Her recording with the London Symphony of Ernest Bloch’s concerto symphonique and scherzo fantasque won “Record of the Year” from Stereophile Magazine.

Yui is passionate about impacting the lives of young people. She has taught at the RoyalConservatory of Music in Toronto where she was the youngest faculty member. She has also been on the faculty at the Peabody Institute, Music Institute of Chicago, and Heifetz Institute. Her students have won numerous national and international competitions and have been accepted into prestigious music conservatories and schools of music around the country. Yui is currently on the piano faculty at the Colburn School in both the Academy and the Community School where her students have continued to win prizes in numerous competitions and awards. At the Colburn School, she is the director of the Piano Camp Intensive, a unique summer piano camp for young piano students ages nine to thirteen. The camp gives students the opportunity to focus on developing their complete musicianship through solo playing, as well as voice, drama, and movement classes in a social atmosphere. In the summer of 2020, she was instrumental in developing a two-week Colburn Virtual Piano Seminar for advanced pianists with students from all over the world and a world-class faculty. Most recently, she gave masterclasses for the Gifted Music School in Salt Lake City and was a judge in the inaugural round Espressivo online Livestreaming Music Competition. This summer, she will be on the faculty at Montecito International Music Festival, Colburn Piano Camp Intensive, and the Colburn Piano Seminar.

Born in Japan and of Korean heritage, Yui immigrated to Canada at the age of eight. Her most important teachers were Leon Fleisher at both The Royal Conservatory of Music and PeabodyConservatory, Bella Davidovich at the Juilliard School, Marietta Orlov at the University of Toronto, and her first teachers, Boris Zarankin and Inna Perkis. Her other influential teachers were Giovanni Valentini with whom she worked with in Pesaro, Italy, as well as Menahem Pressler at the Banff Arts Center.

Yui currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and rescue dog, Daisy. In her free time, she loves to hike in the great outdoors.


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. 

Masterclass with Ralph Farris – February 13, 2021

Online Experience
February 13, 2021 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Tuition: $75 for performers, $45 for auditors
Registration Deadline: February 11, 2021
Performer Application Required (see below)

On February 13, 2021, Ralph Farris from ETHEL, one of America’s most progressive string quartets, will conduct a masterclass as part of our Piano Masterclass Series (Virtual). This class is open to all string musicians (teachers and students alike). Ralph has toured and performed with the greatest – Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, Yo-Yo Ma, Leonard Bernstein, Joe Jackson, etc. A prize-winning graduate of The Juilliard School and active participant at Tanglewood Music Festival, Ralph brings his world of experience to Las Vegas to share his music and wisdom. Class times are 10a-12p, and 1p-2p. The second session may be extended by an hour. Register today as a PERFORMER and/or AUDITOR.”


10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Masterclass

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Break

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: February 9, 2021


Ralph Farris

An award-winning graduate of The Juilliard School, three-time Tanglewood Fellow, and Young Arts Master Teacher, Ralph is a founding member and Artistic Director of the genre-bending string quartet ETHEL (described by the New York Times as “indefatigable and eclectic,” and by the New Yorker as “vital and brilliant”). The group is Resident Ensemble at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Balcony Bar, where Ralph programs the weekly “ETHEL and Friends” concerts. ETHEL is also Ensemble-in-Residence at Denison University, where its members were awarded honorary doctorates during Denison’s 2017 commencement exercises.

Ralph’s creative ideal—driving his own artistry as well as ETHEL’s—is a collaborative ethos, a quest for a common creative expression forged by the celebration of community. With ETHEL, Ralph creates and tours rich multimedia productions such as ETHEL’s Documerica, inspired by the tens of thousands of images shot as part of the EPA’s decade-long Project Documerica, launched in 1971 and The River, a collaboration with Taos Pueblo flutist Robert Mirabal (nominated for a 2016 NAMMY).

ETHEL’s self-titled debut album was a Billboard “Best Recording of ’03.”Its follow-up, Light, ranked #3 on Amazon.com’s “Best of ’06”and Oshtali: Music for String Quartet (2010), is the first commercial recording of American Indian student works. Heavy (2012), was a Q-2 “Album of the Week”and ETHEL’S Documerica (2015), was featured in the New York Times and on iTunes. 

ETHEL has appeared as a guest artist on over a dozen recordings including Laurence Hobgood’s forthcoming tesseterra (TBD, 2017), Cold Blue Two (Cold Blue Music, 2012), Kaki King’s Glow (Velour Recordings, 2012), Joe Jackson’s The Duke (Razor & Tie, 2012), Thomas Dolby’s A Map of the Floating City (Redeye Label, 2011), and Kurt Elling’s GRAMMY®-winning Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman (Concord Records, 2009).

As a solo performer, Ralph has performed in concert with Paul Simon, Juana Molina, Tom Verlaine, Jill Sobule, STEW, Andrew Bird, Fernando Otero, Thomas Dolby, Jeff Peterson, Laurence Hobgood, Jake Shimabukuro, JP Jofre, Vijay Iyer, Pete Townshend, Leonard Bernstein, Alice Cooper, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Sinead O’Connor, Joe Jackson, and Lou Reed. Ralph served as Music Director and Solo Fiddle of the Roger Daltrey Band and is an original company member of Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway. With ETHEL, Ralph has appeared twice at the TED Conference—as a speaker, and as the house band.

His new ensemble, a band of violas known as Firewood, debuted with Gallim Dance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur.

www.ralphfarris.com


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. 

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
Masterclass

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Break

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


BLAIR MCMILLEN, pianist

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   

www.pianoblair.com


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.