Bob Milne is considered to be the best ragtime/boogie-woogie pianist in the world. He was filmed and documented for future generations in 2004 during three days of interviews at the Library of Congress and was declared a National Treasure at the conclusion.
Mr. Milne’s natural ability to hear and play music goes back to his early childhood. A French horn player in high school, he went to the prestigious Eastman School of Music at the age of 17, and then became assistant First Horn in the Rochester Philharmonic at age 19. After symphony concerts the students all went and hung out in local places. When the piano player didn’t show up at a sing-along saloon one night, Mr. Milne filled in. They hired him on the spot. He continued playing the horn until age 21, then became a full-time piano player in the Detroit area, playing seven nights a week for 25 years.
Playing in concert halls now since 1991, Mr. Milne performs worldwide every year. A comment often heard following one of his performances is “unbelievable.” The list of music festivals he’s appeared at is extensive. They include the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival (Sedalia, Missouri), the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Eau Claire Ragtime Festival, Sacramento Ragtime Festive, plus many others.
Mr. Milne has been averaging somewhere in the area of 250 performances per year. He is highly sought after for both his incredible piano playing and easy going, modest presentations. He claims, “If I have been given any ability at all, it is my duty to honor it by trying to improve that ability every time I perform.”