Justin Kolb


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.

 

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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

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Educational Programs

A popular clinician and motivational speaker, Justin Kolb is frequently engaged by colleges and universities to present his interactive "power talks" addressing today’s critical topics: entrepreneurism, tasteful self-promotion, and community engagement. Middle, Intermediate and Secondary school programs include musical enrichment and Arts in Education presentations to a variety of audiences including students, parents and district school boards. His "motivational clinics" are both powerful and empowering.

In visits to schools around the country, Kolb explains the value of studying music. "I want young people to understand how much the skills they develop will help them for the rest of their lives." Each year in addition to performing solo recitals with music of living composers as well as music of Beethoven, Liszt, and Barber, Justin presents music programs at universities and schools, and also speaking to small groups of elementary age children who have never studied an instrument. He also collaborates with students in band, orchestra, and choir programs.

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University/Professional

Entrepreneurism and Self Promotion for the Serious Musician
How the Business Really Works in Today's World

University/College

Know the Score
Inspiration and Motivation for Life After Music School in the 21st Century 

Middle/High School

Why Music Students Excel
Motivational Clinic for Band, Youth Orchestra and Chorus
(Also appropriate for Theatre Kids.)

Elementary School

I’ve Got a Great Job — I'm a Musician
A Concert Pianist's Job, Instrument and Music


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
 

Feedback from Classrooms

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Dear Mr. Kolb (Justin),
You are a great piano player. We don't know anybody else who can play the keys as fast as you. It was really nice of you to come to Meadowbrook to teach us about piano. we learned stuff that we never learned before. You are very nice. Thanks again for coming. We really appreciated it.

From Room 28
3rd Grade
Princeton, NJ

Dear Mr. Kolb,
How are you doing? I guess your fine. My name is Evonne and I am 8 years old. I like how you played Beethoven on the piano. I liked how you played the short parts and then when you played the rough parts in Beethoven. I liked when you rolled your eyes real fast.

Your Friend,
Evonne
Hammond, Indiana

Dear Justin Kolb,
Thank you so much for coming to play for us. You are a really great pianoest. You really encouraged me to keep up with my violin. I have a very musical family, my mom's a singer, my dad's a drummer, my sister sings really well, and I play violin and percussion. I really, really hope you can come back! I love classical music; my favorite song is furelise, my sister can play it on the piano very good. Well, thanks again.

Rachel
4th Grade
Roxbury Central School, NY


"This pianist also gives of himself to young people--he gives talks to students from elementary to college age, and spoke in several schools while in Springfield. I heard him at Springfield High, where he engaged the kids in throught-provoking conversation to make them realize just how much music study does for them in other ways. I wish every parent of a music student could have heard it!" 

—Ann Ker
Illinois Times

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