Keyboard Virtuoso Malcolm Bilson to perform at Carleton College

April 24, 2017

Keyboard virtuoso and world-renowned pianist Malcolm Bilson will perform in concert on Friday, April 28 at 7 p.m. in the Carleton College Concert Hall. Considered one of the foremost players and teachers of the fortepiano, Bilson will also lead a master class in piano on Saturday, April 29 from 11 am. To 1 p.m. in the Urness Recital Hall in the Christiansen Hall of Music at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Both events are free and open to the public.

Pianist and Carleton professor of music Nikki Melville notes, “Bilson is literally one of the most authoritative and renowned exponents of early keyboard literature, and his recital is not to be missed!”

At the forefront of the period instrument movement for more than thirty years, Bilson has been a member of the Cornell University Music Department since 1968, where he is the Frederick J. Whiton Professor of Music Emeritus. A leading pianist and instructor, he began his pioneering activity in the early 1970s as a performer of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert on late 18th- and early 19th-century pianos. Bilson is considered a key contributor to the restoration of the fortepiano to the concert stage and to fresh recordings of the mainstream repertory.

In addition to an extensive career as a soloist and chamber player, Bilson has toured with the English Baroque Soloists with John Eliot Gardiner, the Academy of Ancient Music with Christopher Hogwood, the Philharmonia Baroque under Nicholas McGegan, Tafelmusik of Toronto, Concerto Köln, and other early and modern instrument orchestras around the world.

His popular instructional DVDs—Knowing the Score, Knowing the Score Vol. 2, and Performing the Score—examine the question: Do you really know how to read music? Through demonstrations, lectures, and interviews with prominent guests, Bilson questions many of the basic concepts taught at music schools and clearly demonstrates how to attain more expressive and passionate performances.

He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Bard College, is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a recipient of the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, for his extraordinary lifetime achievements as "a pioneer in the performance of period instruments and chamber music in general." In 2015 he was awarded the Order of the Hungarian Gold Cross by the president of Hungary for his "significant international artistic and scholarly career, and in recognition of his decades-long contributions to Hungarian musical life."

In addition to his activities in Cornell's performance-practice program, Professor Bilson teaches piano to both graduate and undergraduate students. He gives annual summer fortepiano workshops at various locations in the United States and Europe, as well as master classes and lectures (generally in conjunction with solo performances) around the world. Malcolm Bilson is a member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences. More at

This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Department of Music. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4475. The Carleton Concert Hall is located on First Street between Winona and Nevada Streets in Northfield.