Since making his debut at the age of twelve in Chicago’s Petty Auditorium, pianist Milton Rubén Laufer has enjoyed performing throughout the world to the delight of audiences and critics alike. A Chicago native of Puerto Rican and Cuban parents, Laufer began playing the piano at three years of age, and his training includes studies at the Music Institute of Chicago, the Gnessin Institute, the Eastman School of Music, the University of Michigan, and Rice University.
Top prizes in the Stravinsky Awards International Piano Competition, Young Keyboard Artists International Piano Competition, Union League Civic Arts Foundation competition, the Nena Wideman Piano Competition, and the National Federation of Music Clubs’ Stillman-Kelley Award highlight some of Laufer’s competitive accomplishments. His performance at the 10th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition was declared, "fanfare-like...vividly colored... Debussy's L'Isle Joyeuse and Prokofiev's Third Sonata confirmed an initial impression of Laufer as a complete pianist..." Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Laufer has performed in venues ranging from Lincoln Center to Tchaikowsky Hall. His appearances on Spanish-speaking television and radio have been aired throughout Europe, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
President George Bush Sr., Secretary of State James Baker, Spanish Ex-President Felipe Gonzáles, U.S. Ambassador to Spain, Edward Romero, and members of the Spanish Royal Family are among the many political dignitaries for whom Laufer has performed. He was the recipient of an honorary resolution bill from the Illinois Senate prior to his departure to Moscow.
Recognized internationally as a leading performer and scholar of Spanish piano music, Laufer’s recent editions of Isaac Albéniz’s 3 Improvisations for Piano and La Vega by are published by G. Henle Verlag of Munich and available worldwide. Currently Laufer is writing the book, "The Pianist's Guide to the Repertoire of Spain".
Following a Fulbright research fellowship to Spain, Laufer joined the music faculty of Peace College in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he held the Phoenix Professorship in Fine Arts and served as artistic director of the North Carolina Symphony’s Manning Chamber Music Series from 2001-2012. Laufer assumed the appointment of Dean of Music at the New World School of the Arts in Miami in 2012.
He has two recently-released recordings on the Beauport Classical and Zenph Sound Innovations record labels. In the summer of 2019, Laufer will begin recording two projects: an album featuring works by Ernesto Lecuona and a collection of Latin music for cello and piano with Canadian cellist, Nigel Boehm.
He is a charter trustee and lifetime member of the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame and an active voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammy's) and Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Latin Grammy's). Dr. Laufer currently serves as Associate Professor and Director of the School of Music at Western Carolina University.