- Associate Professor, Music
B.M. and Performer's Certificate, Eastman School of Music; M.M., The Juilliard School; D.M.A., Manhattan School of Music; Certificate, Liszt Academy, Budapest.
In recent seasons, Steinway Artist John Milbauer has given concerts and masterclasses in Brazil, Spain, Colombia, Japan, and Mexico as well as throughout the United States. In the fall of 2014 he was honored to give the final recital of the Rencontres Musik in Switzerland, celebrating the 500-year jubilee of the Raron Burgkirche adjacent to the grave of the poet Rilke. France's Republique du Centre has called him "a virtuoso of the first magnitude" while American Record Guide wrote of his last solo CD (Debussy, Adams, Bartók, Crumb), "Milbauer employs a full dynamic and expressive range and a sense of texture and sonority...performs Debussy with astounding delicacy, and conveys unspeakable wonder through an intimate touch and astonishing versatility." His current CD project is of the complete mazurcas of Manuel M. Ponce for Naxos. 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. A versatile musician, Milbauer has performed with the Mills Brothers and, on several occasions, Pink Martini.
Milbauer studied music and classics 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. Since 2012 he has been Co-Director of the Chautauqua Piano Program, helping to transform it into one of the premiere summer piano programs in the Americas.
Dr. Milbauer encourages his students to develop fluid, weight-based techniques in sympathy with musical expression, and works to remove the barriers that interfere with creative flow. Many students have come to him to return to pianistic health.
"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
"Considered one of the most beautiful works of Brahms, the monumental Sonata for Two Pianos is an immense undertaking, not only from a technical point of view with its severe difficulties, but also bringing to light the subtle introspections, the serene melancholy, the contained passion, and an apparent interior search. This extraordinary version of Paulina Zamora and John Milbauer brought the full house to its feet with strenuous and lengthy applause, just retribution for an evening of the highest quality...A wonderful gift to the people of Santiago."
---El Mercurio, Santiago, Chile
"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