Blair McMillen has established himself as one of the most versatile and sought-after pianists today. He leads a multifarious musical life as soloist, chamber musician, conductor, and pedagogue. The New York Times has described him as “riveting,” “prodigiously accomplished and exciting,” and as one of the piano’s “brilliant stars.”
Highlights from recent seasons include concertos with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Albany Symphony, the Piston Concertino for Piano with the American Symphony in Carnegie Hall, and a 3-week solo tour of Brazil sponsored by the US State Department.
Comfortable in an immense variety of musical styles, McMillen has delved into music well beyond the traditional classical canon. His solo performances include medieval keyboard manuscripts next to improvisation-based music, and Classical/Romantic-era solo piano repertoire with recent music by today's younger generation of composers. He frequently collaborates with artists of other genres, and he commissions solo works that stretch the boundaries of the piano and the traditional recital format.
McMillen is pianist for the American Modern Ensemble, the six-piano "supergroup" Grand Band, and the Perspectives Ensemble, among others. He is also the co-director of the Rite of Summer Music Festival, an indie-classical concert series held on New York City’s Governors Island. Rite of Summer celebrated its sixth season in 2016 with several world premieres, as well as a performance of John Luther Adams's epic "Inuksuit," played by nearly 75 percussionists overlooking New York Harbor.
Blair McMillen holds degrees from Oberlin College, the Juilliard School, and the Manhattan School of Music. He lives in New York City, and has served on the music faculty at Bard College and Conservatory since 2005.