Born in Oakland, California, Kendall Ross Bean began playing the piano at the age of four, under the direction of his grandmother, who was at one time a pianist for the silent movies. By seven he had begun composing and by seventeen had made his first recording with a symphony orchestra. That same year he commenced undergraduate studies in music at the University of California at Berkeley and completed his Masters Degree in Piano Performance at the University of Texas at Austin. He also won several scholarships, awards and teaching assistantships during his studies.
Bean has continued to perform as a concert pianist and entertainer in hundreds of concerts and was featured in two national television performances. His performance of the Chopin Polonaise in A-Flat major was the first classical music video to be broadcast on Arts and Entertainment Network and was nominated for an ACE Award.
He rebuilt the McCoy Tyner and Bill Evans grand pianos at Fantasy Studios and a 9′ Steinway Grand and then did a special benefit album for KCSM Jazz with 60 other musicians on these three pianos in September 2018 at Fantasy Studios.
Works from his classical album of solo piano compositions which he recorded are played on Pandora and other radio stations. Excerpts of his KCSM jazz recording “Two Weeks Inside Studio D” of Fats Waller’s “Handful of Keys” on the three pianos he rebuilt, are signature pieces in Sports Byline USA broadcasting to the American Forces Network, iHeart Radio, TuneIn Radio and Stitcher.
Bean’s past compositions have included solo piano, vocal, choral, orchestral compositions, a musical and movie soundtrack.
During the pandemic, the Oakland Symphony commissioned Bean to write music for symphony, chorus and two opera singers for the Breathe Free on Wings in Rhythm Project. He composed “Break Free on Wings of Music” with Karen Earle Lile as the Librettist.
Bean is co-founder of Piano Finders, has an interest in photography, history and steam engines and is the father of two daughters.