AARON DAVID MILLER

 

Aaron David Miller is noted for his highly imaginative and creative style, found in his performances, improvisations and compositions.  Prize winner of several prestigious competitions, including the top prize at the AGO National Improvisation Competition, and the Bach and Improvisation prizes at the Calgary International Organ Festival Competition, he is also noted for his fine performances of repertoire spanning all periods. He has also received rave reviews when accompanying silent films.  His recent recital performances have taken him across the country, from Rhode Island, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Washington DC, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas to Washington State, Oregon and California.  He has been invited to perform at a number of Bach festivals, including the Calgary Bach Festival, the Los Angeles Bach Festival, and the Basically Bach Festival at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in New York City.  He has presented recitals and workshops for a number of AGO Chapters, including Atlanta, Central New York, Westchester County, Greater Kansas City, Toledo, Twin Cities, Lincoln, (NE), Dallas, Portland (OR) and Seattle.  Aaron’s first solo compact disc, showcasing his performances of Bach and his improvisatory skills is available on the Dulcian label.  He provided organ music for the soundtrack of the ELCA Mosaic’s DVD about the life of J. S. Bach, “Glory to God Alone”.  He recently produced a new CD on his own label titled “Clamor” featuring his own compositions along with percussive instruments and soprano, available from CD Baby.

Dr. Miller’s compositions have won critical acclaim.  Featured prominently at the AGO National Convention in Chicago in 2006 , Dr. Miller’s new work for organ and orchestra, Sleepy Hollow, was premiered at the opening concert at Symphony Hall.  Several of his other compositions were also performed during the convention.  He has received numerous commissions.  The Toledo Symphony commissioned a work which was performed in celebration of their 60th anniversary season.   The Seattle Symphony presented the west coast premiere of his work, “Advent Fanfare” for brass octet and organ.  His Concerto for Two Organists, which was premiered and recorded by the Zurich Symphony, is available on the Ethereal label.  Dr. Miller’s many solo organ, choral, and orchestra compositions are published by Augsburg Fortress, Paraclete Press, ECS, Morning Star and Kjos Publishing House.

Aaron Miller’s early organ studies were with Carlene Neihart and David Schrader.  He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied organ performance with David Craighead, Russell Saunders, David Higgs, and Michael Farris, and composition with Samuel Adler and Joseph Schwantner.  His graduate studies were taken at the Manhattan School of Music, where he completed his Master’s degree and DMA, studying composition and organ performance with McNeil Robinson.

Aaron serves as the Director of Music and Organist at House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, Minnesota.   He and his wife, Nina, have a son, Zachary.

Find additional information on his web site at www.aarondavidmiller.com

Check out Aaron's creativity in the following YouTube videos:

BWV 722 Variations


Sinfonia 29 - J. S. Bach

The Four Organs at House of Hope Presbyterian Church

Jump

A Flower Opens

Preludium, Anon. 18th Century

Quotes from Press and Presenters:

“Organist thrills with improve skillsThe first half of the concert exhibited Miller’s strength as an interpreter.  It was full of tremendous, propulsive energy; tastefully selected colors; and foot and finger technique to burn.  While it was certainly a pleasure to hear a fine instrument played by a musician of such extraordinary artistry and technical prowess, what made the concert unusual was the fact that the second half of the program consisted of Miller improvising an entire four-movement sonata based on themes presented to him at intermission”

---Susan Peña, The Reading Eagle

“Aaron has one of the most vivid musical imaginations I've heard.  His improvisations are nothing short of spectacular.  People talk about improvisation being dead in the classical world.  That might be true, but it's alive and kicking in Aaron.  Any musician, classical or jazz, will find Aaron's creativity breathtaking.”                 ---Dave Brubeck, Fourth Presbyterian Church,

 “Aaron was GREAT.  …and he just dazzled them, with both his playing and the warmth of his personality.  The improvisations were spectacular:  No question about it...he is an incredibly gifted young performer.”                   --- Stephen Best, Director of Music/Organist, First Presbyterian Church, Utica, NY  

“Dr. Miller presented an excellent program.  Fine music performed with great insight and that very special quality of reaching a widely diverse audience through a combination of fine technique, intuitive musicality, and that certain "magic" of communication that eludes many other fine performers.”   ---William Hansen, Piporg-l

“What a superb player!  Elegant music-making throughout and the concluding improvisation was wonderful!”   ---Jerome Butera, Editor, The Diapason

I remember from Calgary, how he made the Canonic Variations seem like delicious light entertainment...nothing methodical or heavy.  Inspired!  His improvisations are better than most composed music”   ---Michael Barone, Pipedreams

 “Soloist Aaron David Miller closed the first half of the program with a dazzling improvisation and the second half with a partially orchestrated rendition of J. S. Bach’s G Minor Fugue.  The evening was an unquestioned success.  Miller….showed himself to be an engaging soloist.  His voicings were colorful, his use of rhythm vitalizing.” --- Steven Cornelius, The Toledo Blade

 “Aaron's concert was absolutely stunning, and over the top! We were just thrilled with his stylistic playing, and of course, the brilliant improvisations.”  ---Katherine Crosier, Hawaii Chapter AGO


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