James Behr

Adjunct, Department of Music and Theater

James Behr was hailed as “a demon pianist” by The Boston Globe and “genius composer” by InTheFray Magazine.  A Juilliard graduate and first prize winner in the 2013 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, he has performed throughout the U.S. on TV and radio; at Carnegie Recital Hall (Weill); Alice Tully Hall and Lincoln Center; the Ravinia, Tanglewood and Chautauqua festivals; and with many orchestras including the Virginia Symphony, Naples Philharmonic and Florida Symphonic Pops as Artist in Residence.  His music for piano, orchestra, jazz, fusion rock/classical, new-age and Broadway features his unique blue-age style combining R&B, jazz, classical, and rock.  His works include piano concerto Europa, Looking Back (“rock-certo”); Rhapsody Tableaux (piano), the autobiographical Suite Memoirs (new-age piano), Kaleidoscope Suite (fusion rock/classical), Prisms (jazz); and Boca Suite (symphonic pops).  His musicals include Dreamquest, Jungle Island, E-Love, and critically acclaimed The Count of Monte Cristo, lauded as “beautiful, romantic, sweeping” by the Outer Critics Circle.  Cristo won awards from the New York Musical Theatre Festival and the West Village Musical Theatre Festival, and was performed at New York’s Bleecker Street Theater.  Behr is a graduate of The Juilliard School (MM and BM), Northwestern University (B.A.) and City Univesity of New York (Juris Doctor).  A Steinway Artist, he resides in New York and lectures at Manhattan College on piano, music appreciation/history, theory, and music composition.

Courses Taught

Piano Skills (private piano & piano repertoire), Fundamentals of Music (theory & composition), Music Appreciation/History, various independent Studies

  • Professional Experience and Memberships

    Professor at Manhattan College since 2005, performs as concert pianist and composer of symphonic, Broadway, fusion jazz/rock/classical and solo piano works.  Hundreds of performances throughout the United States as concert pianist and orchestra concerto soloist, including Carnegie Recital Hall (Weill), Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, radio, television, and with the Naples Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, and Florida Symphonic Pops.

  • Honors, Awards, and Grants

    Prize Winner in numerous compeititions, including:

    •  First Prize, 2013 Buono & Broadshaw International Piano  Competion (Carnegie Recital Hall performance)

    •  Best Musical, 2010 NY West Village Musical Theater Festival

    •  Finalist, 2011 New York Musical Theater Festival

    •  Prize Winner in numerous Piano Compeitions