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John Milbauer

  • Dean
Dean of the DePaul University School of Music John Milbauer is a Steinway Artist whose career blends experience as performer, educator, and policy leader in higher education and the arts. Prior to his appointment at DePaul he was Professor of Piano and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at the University of Arizona, and Co-Chair of the Chautauqua Institution Piano Program in New York.

Milbauer has performed on four continents as soloist and chamber musician. Highlights include Ravel's Concerto in G with the Boston Pops, Poulenc's Aubade with San Diego Winds, residencies with several Conservatorios Nacionales Superiores in Spain, and a recital tour of major cities in China. France's Republique du Centre called him "a virtuoso of the first magnitude" while American Record Guide awarded him a Critic's Choice for his solo CD of works by Crumb, Bartók, Adams, and Debussy. Recent projects include performances of Milbauer‘s “Which Side Are You On?” program based on themes of protest, immigration, and workers’ rights, about which a reviewer in Spain wrote, “this extraordinary program reminds us that we all can be refugees, exiles, and immigrants.” He has performed concerts devoted only to chance music and enjoys playing music that employs electronic sounds, prepared piano, extended techniques, and graphic notation; in a similar vein, he has contributed a chapter on the performance of the music of John Cage to The Pianist's Craft series. 

Milbauer studied music, classics, and government at Harvard College before earning degrees from the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and, as recipient of a Fulbright grant, the Liszt Academy in Budapest.  He returned to school in 2019-20 as a John F. Kennedy Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government under the guidance of Prof. Ron Heifetz, Co-Founder of Harvard's Center for Public Leadership. He earned a Master in Public Administration degree from HKS in 2020, having been Co-Chair of the HKS Arts and Culture Caucus as well as Associate Editor of the Harvard Kennedy School LGBTQ Policy Journal. In addition to the MPA curriculum at HKS involving global development and governance, adaptive leadership, behavioral economics, and negotiation, Milbauer studied innovation ecosystems and regional acceleration at MIT Sloan School of Management and arts entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School. This experience led to his appointment to senior University policy committees at the University of Arizona, to National Endowment for the Arts grant screening bodies, and to human rights, foreign policy, and cultural institution platform committees in support of a successful candidate for President of the United States.