The American pianist and composer, Anthony Molinaro, studied at the University of North Texas with Pamela Mia Paul and later with Ursula Oppens at Northwestern University. He has won several awards in addition to the Naumburg Prize, most notably the William C. Byrd International Piano Competition and the 1995 National Piano Fellowship from the American Pianist Association.
Already being hailed as "one of the hottest young pianists in the world," Anthony Molinaro's stunning performances and unique versatility have captivated audiences and critics alike since his victory at the 1997 Naumburg International Piano Competition. Acclaimed for his "edge-of-the-seat brilliance" and "musically imaginative mind," Molinaro's performances have taken him to major music centers throughout the country including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York's Alice Tully Hall. He has also been featured on Ravinia's Rising Stars Series, The Young Artist Series at the Kravis Center, and the Charles Vanda Master Series in Las Vegas. Recent concerto engagements include the Arkansas, Lake Forest, Louisville, Napa Valley, Naples, Richmond, and Syracuse Symphony Orchestras. He has also performed with the Canton, Cape Cod, Eugene, Flint, Savannah, and Utica Symphonies as well as the Chicago Sinfonietta and Chicago Jazz Orchestra. Outside the USA he has recently played in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and Canada.
In addition to his traditional concert repertoire, Anthony Molinaro is also a gifted composer and jazz artist, giving him a musical dimension uncommon to artists of his generation. He often plays his own cadenzas in Mozart and Beethoven concerti, and his "free-wheeling" and "unconventional" rendition of Rhapsody in Blue features improvised cadenzas. Highlights of the 2004-2005 season included the November premier of his first Piano Concerto with the Catskill Symphony and a return engagement with The Chicago Jazz Orchestra featuring his version of Rhapsody in Blue arranged for big band. He also appeared with The Northwest Indiana Symphony, The Ethos Chamber Orchestra, and gave recitals in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Ft. Myers, at Northern Illinois University, The Grand Teton Music Festival, and The Eastern Music Festival among others. His continued collaboration with the harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy (The Molinaro--Levy Project - featured in the February 2004 issue of Downbeat Magazine) included an extended European tour throughout Germany, Italy, France, and The Netherlands. The 2005-2006 season found him performing with The Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, The Ethos Chamber Orchestra, and in recital throughout the USA and Europe. His first solo European tour took place in March 2006 and included stops in Vienna, Zürich, Berlin, and Hamburg among others. He has also toured extensively with Howard Levy both in the USA and abroad.
Anthony Molinaro records exclusively for Nineteen-Eight Records, a label he founded in 2001. His debut CD, "The Bach Sessions" features The Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) and the F Minor and A Major Concertos with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton. His follow-up recording, “New Blue,” is a Gershwin collection featuring his own solo version of Rhapsody in Blue. Titled "New Blue," the disc also includes Three Preludes and Anthony's arrangements and improvisations on the Gershwin classics Summertime, Someone To Watch Over Me, Embraceable You, and I Got Rhythm. His most recent recording, “The Molinaro-Levy Project, LIVE” is a collection of performances from The Green Mill in Chicago and a pair of venues in upstate New York.
Anthony Molinaro currently lives in his native Chicago. When not concertizing, he devotes time to music education and for three summers coordinated a music program for physically challenged children in South Hampton, New York.