Noted for "moving" (Pianist) performances of a "warm, enveloping tone" (Cleveland Classical), American pianist Michael Lu is a young artist with an everlasting desire to reveal the true essence of each piece of music he touches. His repertoire is expansive, featuring more than 40 works for piano and orchestra, an exceptionally diverse range of musical styles, and many works by living and neglected composers.
In 2020, Michael became one of 10 pianists personally selected by Murray Perahia to participate in his international masterclass in Munich, Germany. Michael will work with the great artist on Beethoven's piano sonata opus 111 and perform a lunch concert with the other nine selected participants. He also had the honor of being one of six chosen by Maria João Pires to participate in her inaugural North American Partitura Residency.
As a concerto soloist, Michael has performed with numerous orchestras encompassing three continents, including the Orchestre de Cannes (France), the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra at Powell Symphony Hall, the TIMM Ensemble (Italy), and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra. The young artist has worked with such conductors as Sergio Monterisi, Stephen Mulligan, and Gemma New. Michael's performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra conducted by Gemma New in 2017 was broadcast on television at PBS affiliate KETC (Nine Network of Public Media). An accomplished chamber musician, Michael has performed chamber music with members of the Chicago Symphony and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras in the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis. Throughout high school, he was a member of the Young Artist Chamber Program of the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis under the direction of Alvin McCall and a scholarship student of the Preparatory Program of the Community Music School of Webster University under the direction of Vera Parkin.
In December 2017, he founded Classical Music for a Better World (CMBW) and currently serves as its president and artistic director. CMBW's sole mission is to inspire every member of society to make the world as great as possible for all by powerfully communicating the human spirit through the ethereal beauty of classical music. The pursuit of this mission centers itself on a series of online mini-concerts. Highlights of these mini-concerts include an August 2020 lecture-recital on Florence Price's Piano Sonata in E minor and a mini-concert honoring International Women's Day 2021 with music by Teresa Carreño, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Jennifer Higdon, Florence Price, and Juliane Reichardt.
Michael has won prizes at numerous competitions, including the First Prize in the Midwest International Piano Competition in 2014 and a gold medal with High Distinction in the Manhattan International Music Competition in 2019.
Born in August 1999 in Boston, Michael moved to St. Louis when he was three years old. He began his piano studies two years later, at the age of five. During his years in high school, his mentors were Stanislav Ioudenitch and the late Seth Carlin. Michael currently studies with Antonio Pompa-Baldi as a full-scholarship student at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Michael also had additional private studies with Reid Smith and Jon Kimura Parker and has had the privilege to be coached in masterclasses and private lessons by such great musicians as Eduardo Delgado, Enrico Elisi, Jaime Laredo, Garrick Ohlsson, William Grant Naboré, Manuel Ramos, Paul Schenly, Daniel Shapiro, and Ruth Slenczynska.
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