Phillip Bush is a pianist of uncommon versatility with a repertoire extending from the 16th century to the 21st. His active and unconventional career has taken him to many parts of the globe. Since his New York recital debut at the Metropolitan Museum in 1984, Mr. Bush has appeared as recitalist throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. He made his Carnegie Hall concerto debut in 2001 with the London Sinfonietta to critical acclaim, replacing an ailing Peter Serkin on short notice in concerti by Stravinsky and Alexander Goehr. He has also appeared as soloist with the Osaka Century Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Houston Symphony and several other orchestras, in repertoire as far-ranging as the Beethoven concerti and the American premiere of Michael Nyman’s Harpsichord Concerto. A much sought-after chamber musician, Mr. Bush has performed and recorded with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, has appeared frequently on New York’s Bargemusic series, and has performed at the Grand Canyon Music Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, Strings in the Mountains (Colorado), Sitka Music Festival (Alaska), St. Bart’s Music Festival, Music at Blair Atholl (Scotland), Cape May Music Festival and many other festivals. He has appeared with the Kronos Quartet and the Miami String Quartet and has also performed with members of the Emerson, Guarneri, Tokyo, Orion and St. Lawrence quartets. Between 1991 and 1999, he performed over 250 concerts in Japan with the piano quartet, Typhoon, and recorded five CD’s with the group for Epic/Sony, all of which reached the top of the Japanese classical charts.
In 1993 Mr. Bush founded MayMusic in Charlotte, a critically acclaimed and innovative festival in North Carolina that annually presented chamber and contemporary music, film screenings and other cross-disciplinary collaborations. He served as Artistic Director of that festival from 1993 to 1998. In 2007, he was named Artistic Director of the Bennington Chamber Music Conference, the largest (over 300 participants and 50 faculty) and oldest (founded 1946) institute for amateur chamber musicians to study with professional concert artists. His role at the conference involves providing overall direction for the teaching program, as well as curating a six-concert chamber music festival featuring the artist-faculty each year.
A fierce advocate for contemporary music, Phillip Bush has performed often with many of the New York area’s most renowned new music ensembles, including Bang on a Can All-Stars, Philip Glass Ensemble, Steve Reich and Musicians, Group for Contemporary Music, Newband, Sequitur, Parnassus and New Music Consort. From 1995 until 2010 he was a member of the Milwaukee-based new music group, Present Music. Mr. Bush’s efforts on behalf of contemporary music have earned him grants and awards from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Aaron Copland Fund, ASCAP, Chamber Music America and the National Endowment for the Arts. His discography as soloist and chamber musician has now reached 40 recordings on labels such as Sony, Virgin Classics, Koch International, ASV, New World Records, Denon and many others. Mr. Bush is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Leon Fleisher. From 2000 to 2004, Mr. Bush taught piano and chamber music at the University of Michigan, and he has also served as Visiting Faculty at the University of North Carolina. In 2012 he was appointed Research Associate Professor of Piano and Chamber Music at the University of South Carolina School of Music.