Pianist, composer and recording artist Brian Golden was born in New York City. He began studying the piano at the age of six. His first teacher was a very strict Hungarian woman who had studied with the great 20th Century composer, Bela Bartok. Surprisingly, she did not encourage improvising or composing, so Brian would pore through volumes of “fake books” and pop tunes on his own and began developing a style that incorporated many genres of music. Among his many musical influences he includes J.S. Bach, Frederic Chopin, George Gershwin, Bela Bartok, Glenn Gould, Keith Jarrett, Hoagy Carmichael, Scott Joplin and The Beatles.
In college, Brian was a classical piano major, studying Chopin, Bach, Schumann, Beethoven, the avant garde and electronic music of Morton Subotnick and Karlheinz Stockhausen, and also working consistently on classical piano technique. He also developed a strong interest in Ragtime and Boogie Woogie music. His love of the music of the Beatles, Cat Stevens, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Joni Mitchell led him into his studies of the guitar and the singer-songwriter genre, as well.
After college, Brian’s first gigs were playing ragtime piano at Johnny’s Old-timer in Buffalo, N.Y., and playing piano for a local dinner theatre troupe performing “Bye, Bye, Birdie.” Later, back in New York, he worked for a record distributor in Queens and in the evenings he would head into Greenwich Village to play music and hang out with other musicians. At that time, Brian performed mostly as a singer-songwriter, accompanying himself on the guitar and playing in coffee houses and small clubs in Manhattan, Queens and Long Island. A friend introduced him to the piano improvisations of Keith Jarrett – which became a great influence to him. Seeking change and open spaces, Brian moved to Colorado where he decided to return to his first love and focus primarily on the piano again as his primary instrument. He began accompanying for ballet and modern dance classes and improvising live scores for vintage silent films at the University of Colorado in Boulder and other venues. He also began performing solo piano concerts consisting of totally improvised pieces. He eventually worked some of the themes developed in concert into more structured pieces and recorded his first two piano albums, “Portrait” and “Another Face” by improvising around these themes. His later concerts reflected the arrangements he had recorded in the studio. On his album “Blue Sky,” Brian
decided to go a different route and completely notated each piece and recorded them note for note. His latest piano album, “Quiet Moments,” is a collection of softer pieces selected from these three albums as well as some pieces originally written for ballet.
In addition to these contemporary albums for solo piano, Brian also worked on other projects including composing the music for four ballets for Boulder Ballet, collaborating on several albums for children’s dance with his wife Christy, and completing a collection of “24 Preludes for the Piano in Major and Minor Modes” in the traditions of J.S. Bach and Frederic Chopin. Brian is currently completing pieces for another solo piano album planned for a fall 2019 release.