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. On Wednesday, Aug. 17, he returns to the Opera House stage for what has become a summer concert tradition.
Mr. Milne is an active Musical Ambassador for the United States Dept. of State, and has performed numerous times in Japan, including the Okinawan Islands and Hokkaido. He has also performed in this capacity for members of the Swiss Parliament at the U.S. Embassy in Berne.
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-a-long 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 plays worldwide every year. A comment often heard following one of his performances is,” unbelievable.” He teaches music history at various universities around the country, and is also the founder and director of the Frankenmuth Ragtime Festival in Michigan. He’s performed at the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival (Sedalia, Missouri), the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Eau Claire Ragtime Festival, Sacramento Ragtime Festive, plus many others. Prior to the pandemic he averaged 250 performances per year.
Advance discounted tickets for Bob Milne’s performance are $25 and available only from the Opera House box office at 86 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor, or by calling 633-5159. Regular tickets are $30 and available online at boothbayoperahouse.com and at the door. Doors for seating open at 7 p.m. and the ragtime begins at 7:30.
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