Short Biography

Oakland, California-based pianist Anne Rainwater is a dexterous musician known for her vibrant interpretations of works from J.S. Bach to John Zorn. Recognized for her “boldly assertive rhetoric” (San Francisco Examiner) and “bright golden honeycomb for a brain” (Roy Doughty, poet), she appears as a soloist and chamber musician. Anne has performed in venues and festivals throughout the US and Europe, including the Donau Festival in Krems, Austria, Kampnagel in Hamburg, Germany, the Kennedy Center, Princeton University, University of California San Diego, Louisiana State University, and Le Poisson Rouge, among others. She holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music. Anne also curates a monthly musical gathering in Oakland called the Vernon Salon Series. Highlights of the 19/20 season include the release of a solo piano album featuring the music of Jude Traxler, a performance of Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto with Mendocino College, and a Bach Partita Marathon in April 2020 on the Old First Series in San Francisco.

Photo credit: Ginger Fierstein

Long Biography

Oakland, California-based pianist Anne Rainwater is a dexterous musician known for her vibrant interpretations of works from J.S. Bach to John Zorn. Recognized for her “boldly assertive rhetoric” (San Francisco Examiner) and “bright golden honeycomb for a brain” (Roy Doughty, poet), she appears as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. A feisty agent for new music, Anne has presented contemporary solos at Cornelia Street Café, CNMAT, NY Sound Series, Switchboard Music Festival, BLUEPRINTS Piano Series, and the Center for New Music, and has also performed with the Mendocino Music Festival and Nevada County Composers Cooperative on multiple occasions. She has performed locally in Oakland at the Paramount Theater, the Starline Social Club, and the Octopus Literary Salon, and as far away as Germany, Austria and Italy on a variety of music festivals.

Anne has collaborated with and premiered works by Stuart Saunders Smith, Nils Vigeland, Jude Traxler, Danny Clay, Ken Thomson, Matthew Hough, Bryce Cannell, and Brett Dietz. She also works regularly with trombonist William Lang, visual artist Victoria Welling, percussionist/composer Jude Traxler, mezzo-soprano Melinda Becker, and pianist Emily Tian. She has a long-term commissioning project with William Lang that focuses on underrepresented communities in the low brass world, and they have recently commissioned composers Anne Hege and Alex Temple.

Diverse musical appearances include a live radio interview on KZYX’s The Mind of the Composer with composer Jay Sydeman, chamber music performances in Urbania, Italy, a trio performance at Mass MOCA with cellist Rose Bellini and Bang on a Can’s Dave Cossin, a concerto premiere at UC San Diego, two Bach Prelude and Fugue Marathons at the McRoskey Mattress Co. in San Francisco (where she was praised for her “sympathetic musicianship”) and other shows at Le Poisson Rouge, Galapagos, Gray Area Theater, Areté Venue and Gallery, Georgia’s Tuesday’s Music Live, and Bargemusic. During the recent 18/19 season, she toured South Carolina and Georgia with trombonist William Lang, released her Goldberg Variations solo CD in December 2018, and performed with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble in Laura Schwendinger’s opera Artemisia. Recent lecture and guest artist appearances include UC Berkeley and Cal State East Bay in Hayward, where she presented a lecture recital on the Goldberg Variations. Showcasing her musical range, Anne toured to Germany and Austria with the band CocoRosie in 2012, where she composed and workshopped improvised dance music alongside film composer wunderkinds Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurrianns of Stenfert Charles. She has attended residencies at the Avaloch Farm Music Institute and the Blue Mountain Chamber Music Retreat. Anne has also worked with members of San Francisco Contemporary Players, Del Sol Quartet, Bang on a Can All Stars, sfSound, loadbang, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and Oracle Hysterical, among others. She is a 2019 recipient of an InterMusic SF Musical Grant alongside her New Moon Duo partner, mezzo soprano-Melinda Becker. They are commissioning Nicolas Benavides to write a song cycle entitled Canto Caló, which will be premiered in February of 2020.

Anne has also performed alongside percussionist Jude Traxler as the contemporary piano-percussion duo futureCities. Anne and Jude have held a residency at Louisiana State University and played on Vicky Chow’s Contagious Sounds series. They also performed at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Princeton University, and the Kennedy Center. Anne and Jude were invited in 2013 to play at the Switchboard Music Festival and at the Center for New Music alongside The Living Earth Show in a 2-day, double bill presentation, and on a NY Sound Circuit series show at the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio, where Anne was delighted to play on Cage’s own piano.

Anne holds a Bachelors Degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and a Masters Degree in Contemporary Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where she received the Kraeuter Musical Foundation Award for “excellence in chamber music performance.” While in graduate school, she studied under the tutelage of Anthony de Mare and Christopher Oldfather, who affectionately referred to her as a “special kind of extraterrestrial.” Anne’s first solo album, J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, was released in December 2018, and she has also recorded for Original Abstractions, Bourbon Thomas Records, Pinna Records, Subliminal Sounds, and Oberlin Conservatory’s Aural Capacity series. She curates a monthly contemporary music gathering in Oakland, CA called the Vernon Salon Series. Anne has trained in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and is very intersted in the brain’s understanding and mapping of concepts through a variety of sensory inputs and networks. When not at the piano, she can be found running long distances, hanging out with her ornery cat Ernie, or reading excessively. Anne belongs to Beyond Artists, a coalition of artists that donates a percentage of their concert fees to organizations they care about, and she supports Oakland Animal Services and the National Wildlife Foundation through her performances.