Full Bio

Biography – Emily Bear – PIANIST. COMPOSER. SONGWRITER. SINGER

At only 16-years of age, Emily Bear has achieved groundbreaking success as a pianist, composer, and songwriter. A chart-topping recording artist, she enjoys arranging, orchestrating, and performing in a diverse collection of styles including pop, film scoring, jazz and classical. Having made her professional debut at the Ravinia Festival at five years old, she has since performed at many of the worlds most well-known venues including Carnegie Hall, the White House, Lincoln Center, Montreux Jazz Festival, and the Hollywood Bowl. Her concerts have taken her to stages across China, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria, Netherlands, Israel, Belgium, Canada, and more. Symphonies throughout the world have performed Emily’s original compositions and she has helped raise millions for charities across the globe through performances and events.

Emily’s skills and passion for writing and singing pop music has opened the doors to collaborating with some of the top songwriters and producers in the industry, including Toby Gad, Pam Sheyne, and Mikal Blue. Following a recent star-studded performance, the LA Times wrote, “16-year-old Emily Bear, whose fingers blazing across the piano keys, left the room full of considerable musical talent all by speechless.” Fergie, a guest at the event exclaimed, “I’m obsessed, she undressed my soul with that playin’ and that singin.”

This past Fall, Emily was featured at The Hollywood Bowl, performing the Oscar-winning animated Tom & Jerry cartoon, “The Cat Concerto” (Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No.2), live to film. Following this, Emily received rave reviews for starring in Night of The Proms, a 25-concert sold-out stadium tour of Europe, featuring a 70-piece orchestra, choir and rock band. “The great winner of all hearts at Night of The Proms 2017 is definitely the American Emily Bear. She did not just enchant us, she left a magical, breathtaking impression that cannot be described with words. This piano virtuoso captivates and conquers Flanders with her smile, impressive piano playing, and engaging posture, so her performance can be seen as the ultimate highlight of the evening.”

Emily has been composing since she was three years old. By the time she was four, her music was being published and distributed by Hal Leonard and she currently has five original sheet music songbooks distributed worldwide. Each of her CD’s and songbooks dedicates a portion of sales to various charities. A documentary on Emily has attracted more than 30 million views on YouTube and received an Emmy Award.

At age six, Emily was the youngest ever recipient of the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. Following her first orchestral piece debuted at age six, symphonies around the world have continued to perform her orchestral works. A prolific composer and orchestrator, audiences and critics alike continue to celebrate her new works. In 2015, Les Voyages received the ASCAP Composer of the Year Award for orchestral concert music. An especially unique commission included a composition written to be simultaneously performed in 6-part harmony by 25 pianos. This May, alongside Steven Chen, founder of YouTube, and Melanie Hobson, Chairman of the Board of DreamWorks, Emily will be receiving the Order of Lincoln Award, the highest honor in the state of Illinois, and premiering a new orchestral work to honor the occasion.

Her love for jazz has taken her from the legendary Stravinsky Auditorium at the Montreux Jazz Festival to Blue Note Tokyo, Dizzy’s – Jazz at Lincoln Center and Blue Note in New York City, where she premiered several of her pieces arranged for big band jazz orchestra. Emily was the recipient of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Jazz Composer of the Year Award in both 2016 and 2017. Her most recent album, Into the Blue, was one of the top jazz releases of 2017. Emily has released six other CD’s of original music including Diversity, produced by Quincy Jones for Concord Music. “She’s the most delightful human being I’ve ever met in my life”, Quincy says. ‘And her music is the same way. I am at once astounded and inspired by the enormous talent that Emily embodies. With the ability to seamlessly move from Classical to Jazz and Be-bop, she shows as much musical prowess as pianists/composers twice her age, and I am thrilled to be working with her. She’s astounding, man, she’s astounding. She plays like she’s 40 years old. She is the complete 360-degree package, and there are no limits to the musical heights she can reach.”

Equally at home with classical music, she has performed piano concertos by Mozart, Schumann, Grieg, and others with multiple orchestras across the United States and Canada. On July 4th, 2018, Emily will perform Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra at Millennium Park in Chicago.

As a composer for film and TV, Emily created the music for six national commercials for Weight Watchers “Simple Start” campaign. At age eleven, Emily was the youngest to ever be selected for the ASCAP/NYU Buddy Baker Film Scoring Workshop and was chosen as a top-five composer. Since then, she has scored the music for numerous documentaries and short films. “She has a gift for knowing how music works with moving images. It’s an organic, dramatic, and narrative sense that she shouldn’t have at this age,” stated Ron Saddoff, Director of Programs in Film Scoring and Songwriting at NYU Steinhardt.

Appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show 6 times in two years, Emily performed an original song she composed for each appearance. She has been featured nationally and internationally on TV and print including the Disney Channel, ABC Nightline, Katie Couric Show, Queen Latifah Show, Dancing With the Stars, Good Morning America, Australia Sunday Night Channel 7, Germany SAT1, and others. Emily was interviewed for NPR Radio by David Green that was selected for a CD collection of NPR’s top stories: People We Meet: Unforgettable Conversations.

Her teachers and mentors include Quincy Jones, Mary Sauer (Chicago Symphony), Yocheved Kaplinsky (Juilliard), and Alan Swain. Emily is currently studying with Andrew Focks (Cleveland Institute).

QUOTES:

“She’s the most delightful human being I’ve ever met in my life.” Quincy says. “And her music is the same way. I am at once astounded and inspired by the enormous talent that Emily embodies. With the ability to seamlessly move from Classical to Jazz and Be-bop, she shows as much musical prowess as pianists/composers twice her age, and I am thrilled to be working with her. She’s astounding, man … she’s astounding. She plays like she’s 40 years old. She is the complete 360-degree package, and there are no limits to the musical heights she can reach.” 
– Quincy Jones
 
“I first saw Emily at the Stuttgart Jazz Festival, in 2015. I was totally knocked out. Wow! She is an immensely talented young artist, with a long and successful career ahead her.”
– David Sanborn
 
“I have loved getting to know Emily and seeing her evolve over the years into a powerful artist. She inspires me to continue to grow as a musician, performer, and educator. The future is bright and she’ll be there front and center.”
– Jon Batiste, Bandleader with the “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, Artistic Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem
 
“Emily is obviously classically trained. But she’s not just an interpreter and performer. She writes her own music. Everything that you hear on that album came from her. She wrote everyone’s part. She directed us. One forgets within minutes that you’re listening to someone who is a child.  She is an absolutely exceptional…  it makes one believe the myths and the grandeur of what Mozart would have been like had you met him. Emily is so purely gifted that music simply pours out of her. It pours out with such joy and creativity and spontaneity that you just stand back in awe. It’s rather mind-boggling. This ability comes around so rarely.”
 – Zuill Bailey, classical cellist, Artistic Director of El Paso Pro Musica (Texas), Artistic Director of the Sitka Music Festival (Alaska) and Professor of Cello at the University of Texas at El Paso:
 
“Unlike some accomplished young musicians, Emily doesn’t just play the notes correctly but reaches down into the heart of a piece of music, she plays someone else’s music as if she were creating it”, Illick said, “and she has been composing her own pieces for years. The ideas she has are totally original”, he said. “most of us compose by mimicking and altering (works that already exist), but she comes out with a new kind of idea that no one has had before.”
– Maestro Joe Illick, Conductor and Musical Director of Performance Santa Fe and Fort Worth Opera