Pianist, educator, and performing arts entrepreneur
Justin Kolb has premiered compositions by Robert Starer, John Downey, Peter Schickele, Paul Alan Levi, William Ferris, and Robert Cucinotta in a performing career that has taken him from Budapest to Santa Barbara– highlighted by solo turns with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg Philharmonic, and Amernet String Quartet, and by a recording career with Albany Records.
He is also known as a lecturer and motivational speaker about music in education and about managing a musical career. Executive secretary of the American Liszt Society and a co-founder and director of the recently established Catskills Academy of Performing Arts, Kolb, an Army veteran, is a recipient of the Legion of Merit and Army Commendation Medal and of the Distinguished Alumni Award from DePaul University.
JUSTIN KOLB’S PERFORMANCES HAVE WIDE APPEAL WITH ALWAYS INTERESTING AND OFTEN HUMOROUS COMMENTARY.
Kolb’s programming champions music by living American composers as well as music that lives in undeserved obscurity. Such programming includes works by Hermann Cohen (infamous young ward of Franz Liszt) and the Afro-Cubano Gran Sonata by Cuban composer Alfredo Diez Nieto.
Justin Kolb in the Press
“A winning combination of brilliance and affection from pianist Justin Kolb.”
JOHN VON RHEIN, CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“Mr. Kolb plowed ahead with engaging spiritedness and a flashy technique.”
ALEX ROSS, NEW YORK TIMES
“The piano works, played with panache by Justin Kolb, have similarly wide stylistic range, mingling tonal and atonal elements but usually melodious and always listener-friendly.”
THE WASHINGTON POST
“It gives me great pleasure to hear this concerto (Schickele’s Concerto for Piano and Chorus). Justin is doing a terrific job with it. He has to handle styles that range from Bach’s cadenza in the Fifth Brandenburg Concerto to Lenny Tristano bee-bop.”
PETER SCHICKELE COMPOSER WOODSTOCK, NY