At age 14, Pianist/Composer/Arranger Emily Bear is one of the most astonishing and prolific musical talents of our time – composing, orchestrating, and performing in an astonishingly (remarkable) diverse collection of styles. She has performed at many of the worlds most famous venues including Carnegie Hall, the White House, Lincoln Center, Montreux Jazz Festival, Blue Note, Ravinia, and the Hollywood Bowl, among others. Her sold out concerts have taken her to concert halls across the U. S. and Europe - from palaces in Vienna to stadiums in Japan and Korea. Her love for all musical styles runs from classical to jazz and everything in-between. Whether before a crowd of 15,000 at Art On Ice in Zurich or an intimate concert at The Blue Note in NYC - Emily's rare ability to inhabit a composers style or to touch emotions with her original melodies has inspired people worldwide.
At 6 years of age, Emily was the the youngest recipient to ever receive the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. She established herself as a classical artist performing Mozart's Piano Concerto, no. 23 K488 at the age of 7, followed by the Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor and most recently, Rhapsody In Blue by Gershwin, which she performed with several orchestra's this fall across the U.S. and Canada. She premiered several new orchestral works this year that she composed and orchestrated to critical acclaim. Her love for jazz has taken her from the famous hall of the Montreux Jazz Festival to Blue Note Tokyo, Dizzy's at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Blue Note in NYC - where she recently premiered original music she composed for Big Band Jazz Orchestra.
Emily also loves composing for film and TV and this year composed the music for 6 national commercials for the new Weight Watchers ad campaign. Emily has released 6 CD's of original music, with her most recent CD, Diversity, produced by Quincy Jones for Concord Music. “She’s the most delightful human being I’ve ever met in my life,” Quincy says. “And her music is the same way. I am at once astounded and inspired by the enormous talent that Emily embodies. With the ability to seamlessly move from Classical to Jazz and Be-bop, she shows as much musical prowess as pianists/composers twice her age, and I am thrilled to be working with her. She’s astounding, man ... she’s astounding. She plays like she’s 40 years old. She is the complete 360-degree package, and there are no limits to the musical heights she can reach.”
Emily has been composing since she was 3 years old. By the time she was 4, she was having pieces published and distributed by Hal Leonard and currently has 5 original sheet music songbooks distributed worldwide. Emily has helped raise millions for charities across the globe through performances and events. Each of her CD's and songbooks dedicate a portion of sales to various charities. A documentary on Emily has attracted more than 26 million views on youtube and has recently won an Emmy Award. Emily appeared on the Ellen Degeneres Show 6 times in 2 years, performing an original song she composed for each appearance. She has been featured nationally and internationally on TV and print including ABC nightline, Katie Couric Show, Queen Latifah Show, Dancing With the Stars, Good Morning America, Australia Sunday Night Channel 7, Germany SAT1, and others. Emily was interviewed for NPR Radio by David Green that was selected for a CD collection of NPR's top stories: People We Meet: Unforgettable Conversations.
An ASCAP member since age 5, Emily's teachers include Mary Sauer, principal pianist for the Chicago Symphony; Veda Kaplinsky, Head of the Piano Department at Juilliard; Ron Sadoff head of NYU Steinhardt for film scoring; and Frank Kimbrough, head of the Juilliard Jazz program for jazz piano. She also studies theory with Marshall Griffith from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Emily and her family live in Illinois where in her free time, she loves to bake, wakeboard, volunteer at local animal shelters and make jewelry.
“She’s the most delightful human being I’ve ever met in my life,” Quincy says. “And her music is the same way. I am at once astounded and inspired by the enormous talent that Emily embodies. With the ability to seamlessly move from Classical to Jazz and Be-bop, she shows as much musical prowess as pianists/composers twice her age, and I am thrilled to be working with her. She’s astounding, man ... she’s astounding. She plays like she’s 40 years old. She is the complete 360-degree package, and there are no limits to the musical heights she can reach.” Quincy Jones
Zuill Bailey, classical cellist, Artistic Director of El Paso Pro Musica (Texas), Artistic Director of the Sitka Music Festival (Alaska) and Professor of Cello at University of Texas at El Paso:
Emily is obviously classically trained. But she’s not just an interpreter and performer. She writes her own music. Everything that you hear on that album came from her. She wrote everyone’s part. She directed us. One forgets within minutes that you’re listening to someone who is a child. : She is an absolutely exceptional… It’s literally... It makes one believe the myths and the grandeur of what Mozart would have been like had you met him. This person is so purely gifted that music simply pours out of her. It pours out with such joy and creativity and spontaneity that you just stand back in awe.
It’s rather mind-boggling. This ability comes around so rarely. I believe the word prodigy is so so so overused for business tactics and salability.
Maestro Joe Illick, conductor and Musical Director of Performance Santa Fe and Fort Worth Opera:
Unlike some accomplished young musicians, Emily doesn’t just play the notes correctly, but reaches down into the heart of a piece of music, she plays someone else’s music as if she were creating it,” Illick said.
And she has been composing her own pieces for years. “The ideas she has are totally original,” he said. “Most of us compose by mimicking and altering (works that already exist), but she comes out with a new kind of idea that no one has had before.”
Ronnie Lapone for The Agency Group, Ltd.
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