Nicholas Phillips, pianist
#45miniatures: A Musical Response to Trump
Dec. 6, 2019
Studio Z: 275 East Fourth Street, Suite 200, St. Paul
$15 / $10 students
#45miniatures started as a sarcastic late-night post on Facebook. It quickly evolved into a major commissioning project representing the work of more than 50 composers. Each was invited to take anything related to our 45th President (tweets, speeches, etc.) as source material to create a miniature, or small collection of miniatures, for solo piano. These serve as commentary on, or reaction to, words, attitudes, policies, and general behavior that they find amusing, unacceptable, confusing, disturbing, and so on. The result is a large collection of socially engaged pieces that serve as a musical response to Trump and his administration.
Described by the New York Times as a "talented and entrepreneurial pianist" and an "able and persuasive advocate" of new music, Nicholas Phillips' playing has been praised for its "bejeweled accuracy" (Fanfare) and as "razor-sharp yet wonderfully spirited" (American Record Guide). He is active as a soloist and collaborative artist, having performed all across the United States, as well as Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa.
Phillips is an active recording artist and champion of living composers. In 2011, he released two CDs on Albany Records: Portals and Passages (TROY 1246), which features the works for solo piano by American composer Ethan Wickman, and Boris Papandopulo: Piano Music (TROY 1274), which features music by the famous Croatian composer. Recent releases include American Vernacular: New Music for Solo Piano (New Focus Recordings, 2014), which features commissioned works written for him on that theme by ten American composers, and Impressions (Blue Griffin Records, 2016), a collection of 21st-century character pieces by living American composers. Shift (Panoramic Recordings) releases in March, 2019, and features world premiere recordings of works by eight living women composers.
A native of Indiana, Phillips began formal piano lessons at Indiana University at the age of ten. He holds degrees in piano performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music (Doctor of Musical Arts), Indiana University (Master of Music), and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Bachelor of Music, summa cum laude). His teachers include internationally-renowned pianists and pedagogues Karen Taylor, Paul Barnes, Karen Shaw, and Robert Weirich.
Phillips is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is a Yamaha Artist.
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