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Acclaimed Steinway Artist John Milbauer to Perform for CofC International Piano Series



By: CofC Media

American pianist John Milbauer captures audiences with his “full expressive range” and “conveys unspeakable wonder through intimate touch and astonishing versatility” (American Record Guide). Milbauer will play the third concert in the 32nd season of the College of Charleston’s International Piano Series (IPS). The performance includes works by Bach, Chopin and Bartók.

The IPS performance on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023 takes place at 7:30 p.m., in the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St. Patrons can find info and ticket links at

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased through the George Street Box Office online, at the door, by emailing, or by calling (843) 953-4726. Admission is $10 for College of Charleston students, and FREE for College of Charleston employees, as well as youth (18 and under, with school I.D.). Free tickets must be secured ahead of the concert by emailing or visiting the box office.

Steinway Artist John Milbauer has recently performed in China, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, and Japan as well as throughout the United States. Highlights of the past two seasons include Ravel’s Concerto in G with the Boston Pops and Keith Lockhart in Boston’s Symphony Hall, Poulenc’s Aubade with San Diego Winds, recitals with Stephanie Houtzeel of the Vienna State Opera, residencies with the Conservatorios Nacionales Superiores of Sevilla and Jaén in Spain, and a tour of major cities in China. France’s Republique du Centre has called him “a virtuoso of the first magnitude” while American Record Guide awarded him a Critic’s Choice—top 10% of reviews for the year—writing, “Milbauer employs a full expressive range, performs with astounding delicacy, and conveys unspeakable wonder through an intimate touch and astonishing versatility.”

A laureate of the Orléans Concours in France for piano music of the 20th Century, he has performed concerts devoted only to chance music and enjoys playing music that employs electronic sounds, prepared piano, extended techniques, and graphic notation; in a similar vein, he has contributed a chapter on the performance of the music of John Cage to The Pianist’s Craft series. His Humanities Seminar “Beyond Brahms at the Piano”—a twelve-hour multi-disciplinary lecture/recital on the fragmentation of compositional languages over the last century—won the Humanities Seminar Program Superior Teaching Award in 2020 from UA’s College of Humanities. A versatile musician, Milbauer has performed with the Mills Brothers and Pink Martini.

Milbauer studied music, classics, and government at Harvard College before earning degrees from the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and, as recipient of a Fulbright grant, the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He was awarded the Eastman Performer’s Certificate (the highest performance honor of the school) and the Wolodarsky Prize from the Banff Centre, and was nominated for the Gina Bachauer prize for outstanding pianist at Juilliard. His teachers include Jerome Lowenthal, Ferenc Rados, György Sebök, and Rebecca Penneys. Currently Professor of Piano and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at the University of Arizona College of Fine Arts, he also has been Co-Chair of the Chautauqua Institution Piano Program in New York since 2012, helping to transform it into one of the premiere summer piano programs in the Americas.

Milbauer spent 2019-20 as a John F. Kennedy Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government under the guidance of Prof. Ron Heifetz, Co-Founder of Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership. He earned a Master in Public Administration degree from HKS in 2020, having been Co-Chair of the HKS Arts and Culture Caucus as well as Associate Editor of the Harvard Kennedy School LGBTQ Policy Journal. In addition to the MPA curriculum at HKS involving global development and governance, adaptive leadership, behavioral economics, and negotiation, Milbauer studied innovation ecosystems and regional acceleration at MIT Sloan School of Management and arts entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School.

“Crystal-clear Mozart with exemplary ornamentation…Milbauer displayed his musical sovereignty in Ravel’s Tombeau…a master of agogic and rhythm, and one hopes for his return.” —Walliser Zeitung, Switzerland

“The Bartok Concerto, brilliantly played by pianist John Milbauer, was the audience hit, from a rhythmic first movement filled with nature/bird sounds to an absolutely beautiful, pensive second movement in which the soloist, as if in solitary space created by quivering strings, seems to ruminate before concluding with an excitingly rapid final movement.” —The Sacramento Bee



Housed within the College of Charleston School of the Arts, IPS is Charleston’s longest running, year-round program with a pure focus on piano. Consistent with the School’s mission, the series plays a distinctive role in the lives of students and the community by implementing excellence in the arts and education and cultivating piano music appreciation. Artistic Director of the series is faculty member Paul Sánchez.

The final concert of the 2022-2023 season: Awadagin Pratt (Tuesday, March 28)

Among his generation of concert artists, pianist Awadagin Pratt is acclaimed for his musical insight and intensely involving performances in recital and with symphony orchestras. Recent and upcoming appearances include recital engagements in Baltimore, La Jolla, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Ravinia, Lewes, Delaware, Duke University and at Carnegie Hall for the Naumburg Foundation. In November 2009, Mr. Pratt was one of four artists selected to perform at a classical music event at The White House that included student workshops hosted by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, and performing in concert for guests including President Obama. He has performed two other times at The White House, both at the invitation of President and Mrs. Clinton.

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