When graduate pupil Michael Lenahan sits at his piano bench on stage, his fingers know what keys to play.
Regardless of the 1000’s of notes in his 30-minute concerto piece, his palms glide by means of every melodic word, retaining him at peace in entrance of his viewers, be it a crowd of individuals or a panel of judges.
“I really like performing,” Lenahan mentioned. “I really like when you’ve completed all that work, and also you go on stage and also you’re snug. Everybody will get a level in piano for various causes, however … my purpose is (for) my profession (to) … have efficiency as the inspiration.”
Lenahan gained the concerto competitors for UT pianists final October in opposition to eight different rivals, touchdown him the chance to carry out with the UT Symphony Orchestra on April 24.
Spending round 750 hours working towards his concerto piece all through his profession, Lenahan mentioned loads of exhausting work went into getting ready for this efficiency.
“Having the expertise of taking part in concertos with (an) orchestra is so necessary, however on the identical time, it’s actually exhausting to get that have (outdoors of a contest setting),” Lenahan mentioned. “It’s 80+ individuals all taking part in your piece with you, so it’s actually necessary for pianists’ careers.”
After finishing his undergraduate diploma at Juilliard and his masters’ at Rice, Lenahan joined UT’s Artists Diploma program, a postgraduate performing program, as its first pianist.
The pandemic peaked after Lenahan graduated from Rice in Might 2020, inflicting his profession plans to fall by means of. Lenahan missed the concerto competitors finals of that yr.
“Popping out of the pandemic, I wished to dive again in and get my profession going once more,” Lenahan mentioned. “I used to be like, ‘This yr, I’m decided.’”
Piano professor Anton Nel works with Lenahan by means of his diploma program and in addition performed his piece beside him through the concerto competitors in October. Nel mentioned Lenahan impressed each him and the judges.
“He’s an outstanding pianist and actually deserves every little thing that comes his means,” Nel mentioned. “It comes with loads of exhausting work. What he’s doing to a instructor like me is basically best: to have a present, however to additionally work exhausting.”
Caroline Cubillos, a music and economics sophomore, works with Lenahan in music class and mentioned seeing his apply switch to efficiency makes her really feel extraordinarily pleased with his steady efforts.
“There’s undoubtedly loads of potentialities for him,” Cubillos mentioned. “He’s simply so proficient and pianist and musician, so no matter he’ll be doing, I’m certain it’s going to be wonderful.”
Gaining success in competitions and abilities in piano, Nel mentioned Lenahan maintains management of the following steps in his musical profession.
“I would love (him) to have an attention-grabbing life in music,” Nel mentioned. “He’s all set as much as have a really good life in it.”
Lenahan mentioned artists ought to by no means quit on their passions. Chasing his subsequent efficiency, Lenahan mentioned he hopes to carry classical music to youthful audiences.
“If you know the way to hear (to classical music), and also you open your thoughts and coronary heart to that, it’s for everybody,” Lenahan mentioned.