As a Steinway artist and the Texas Music Teachers Association’s choice as “Collegiate Teacher of the Year” for 2023, Dr. Bradley Bolen has enjoyed a diverse career as performer, studio teacher, clinician, and guest lecturer.
Dr. Bolen received a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from The University of Texas at Arlington in 1985 and Master of Music and DMA degrees from The University of Texas at Austin in 1989 and 2000. His principal teachers have included David Stokan and Nancy Burton Garrett, with additional training by such notable musicians as, Martin Canin, Menahem Pressler, Claude Frank, and Earl Wild. As a University of Texas Fellow, he designed and marketed a series of highly successful lecture courses for general concert audiences. These courses included: “Ten Ways to Listen,” “The Masterpiece and the Romantic Dream, ” “Beethoven to Picasso, ” and “Piano! Piano!”
An enthusiastic proponent of new music, Bolen gave the world premiere performance of renowned pianist Earl Wild’s “Sonata 2000” in 2003. Wild later wrote, “Bradley Bolen is one of the most astute musicians I have encountered in my long career. His pianistic abilities are of the highest level, and his perceptive powers as an interpreter are extraordinary.” Bolen’s recording collaborations include a release for music for horn and piano with hornist Jeffrey Powers, and a recital featuring the works of Brahms, Poulenc, Rachmaninoff, and Milhaud with duo pianist Vincent De Vries on the MSR Classics label, which received acclaim from notable publications such as The Atlantic Audio Society, Gramophone, and World Magazine.
Dr. Bolen is also active as faculty and adjudicator for festivals and events throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He has served as summer faculty for Rocky Ridge Music Center (Colorado), The Zywiec Summer Music Festival (Zywiec, Poland), the Austrian-American Mozart Academy (Salzburg, Austria), and American Voices (Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon), and most recently adjudicated the Lutoslawski International Piano Competition in Zambrow, Poland, and the Gloria Artis Chopin International Piano Competition in Vienna, Austria.
Currently, Bolen serves as Senior Lecturer at Baylor University, where he has an active studio of talented students, most recently including the 2022 national winner of the Music Teachers National Association’s Young Artist piano competition, as well as a finalist in the 2023 edition of the Weatherford International Piano Competition.
Additionally, Bolen has served as a reviewer for The American Record Guide, and has arranged and recorded music for film, including Touchstone Pictures’ “The War at Home” and Erik Borzi’s “Silent Paradise.”
Dr. Bolen is a travel enthusiast, especially to off-the-beaten path locations, and recently visited Ukraine and Nigeria where he conducted masterclasses for students and faculty. Currently, he is a book contributor for a Cambridge University Press publication on pedagogy in developing nations.