BRIAN KELLY is an award-winning American composer, pianist, and recording artist producing contemporary instrumental and solo piano music. He has released three contemporary piano instrumental albums and published two sheet music songbooks.
Butterfly Rapture, Kelly’s third studio album, is a collection of twelve solo piano pieces with neoclassical and jazz influences. The album was awarded two Medals from the Global Music Awards: a Silver Medal for Album and a Silver Medal for Composition/Composer of the title-track “Butterfly Rapture.” “Piano Escapade,” the opening track, won First Prize in the 2016 USA Songwriting Competition in the Instrumental category, was nominated for a 2016 Hollywood Music in Media Award in the New Age/Ambient category, and was nominated Best Solo Piano Song in the 2017 Just Plain Folks Music Awards. The title track was nominated Best New Age Song by Independent Music Awards 2016. The album was nominated 2015 “Contemporary and Modern” Album of the Year by SoloPiano.com and charted #4 on the Zone Music Reporter Top 100 Radio Airplay Chart in January 2016.
Afterplay, his second studio album, was awarded second place in the “Best Instrumental Jazz Album” category of the Just Plain Folks Music Awards, and “Celtic Fire,” track #8 from the album, was nominated “Best Instrumental Jazz Song.” Afterplay ranked third on the Zone Music Reporter Top 100 Radio Chart for three months in a row (November 2008 thru January 2009) and was chosen as a “Best of 2008” pick by Audiosyncracy. The album features Eric Crystal on sax, Viviana Guzman on flute, and David Rokeach on drums.
Brian’s debut album, Pools of Light, charted #1 on the Zone Music Reporter international radio charts for two months in a row (June and July 2005) and garnered him a “Best New Artist” nomination in the 2005 Zone Music Reporter Awards. Pools of Light was named among the “Top 40 CDs of of the Decade” (2000-2009) by Kathy Parsons of MainlyPiano.com. The album features Peter Cornell on flute, John Waller on drums, and Ben Mawhorter on tablas.
Brian was Keyboard Magazine’s Annual Reader Tape Contest winner for the recording of his composition “Todd Pond,” which is included on the flexi-disc Soundpage in the February 1990 issue. His music has been featured in television (Travel Channel, BBC Worldwide, MTV), film (NBA Entertainment), in-flight programming (United, JetBlue, Continental, Southwest), and receives airplay from radio stations and satellite music networks around the world (Music Choice, XM Radio, Pandora). His sheet music songbooks, published by Skylight Music, include: Pools of Light Solo Piano Songbook and Tomorrow’s Daydream Solo Piano Songbook.
Born in New York City, Brian grew up in Palo Alto, California. He began his piano studies at age 8, creating pieces for his mother who played classical piano at home and violin for a community opera company. Brian has extensive experience as a stage actor and singer, having performed in numerous plays and musical theatre productions, including several leading roles at TheatreWorks and the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre. He studied music composition with Lewis Spratlan at Amherst College and Roland Wiggins at Hampshire College; improvisation with members of the world-fusion group Oregon (Ralph Towner and Paul McCandless) and pianist Art Lande at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado; and jazz piano with Andy Laverne in New York City.
Brian is a graduate of Hampshire College, a voting member of The Recording Academy, and currently resides with his wife and their two tuxedo cats in the San Francisco Bay Area.