Michael McHale

Biography

Belfast-born Michael McHale has established himself as one of the leading Irish pianists of his generation. Since completing his studies at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music he has developed a busy international career as a solo recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. Michael has performed at many important musical centres including Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Lincoln Center in New York, Symphony Hall in Boston, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Pesti Vigadó in Budapest, the Ushuaia and Tanglewood Festivals, and for TV and radio broadcasts throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America.

His debut solo album ‘The Irish Piano’ was released in 2012 and has been featured on national radio in France, Austria, Canada, Australia, the USA, Italy, Estonia and the UK. The album was selected as ‘CD of the Week’ by critic Norman Lebrecht, who described it as ‘a scintillating recital, fascinating from start to stop’, whilst Gramophone praised ‘the singing sensibility of McHale's sensitive and polished pianism’. Michael has performed frequently as concerto soloist with the Hallé, Bournemouth Symphony and Moscow Symphony orchestras, the Teatro Colon Orchestra, Discovery Ensemble in Boston, the London Mozart Players and all five of the major Irish orchestras in repertoire ranging from Mozart and Beethoven to Gershwin and Rachmaninov.

A recent debut with the Irish Chamber Orchestra saw Michael deputise for the indisposed Leon Fleisher in a performance of Prokofiev’s Left Hand Concerto with Gérard Korsten, which was broadcasted worldwide on a live online video stream. Engagements in 2013 and 2014 include performances of Mozart K.488 with the Minnesota Orchestra, Liszt Concerto No.2 Ulster Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra and Gershwin Concerto with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. His début solo recitals in the Wigmore Hall, London, the National Concert Hall, Dublin, and the Phillips Collection, Washington DC received great public and critical acclaim, with the Washington Post praising his‘bravura playing in the music of Franz Liszt’ and his ‘beautifully proportioned and energetic account of Mozart’s Sonata in C minor, K.457’.

In addition to winning first prize and the audience prize at the prestigious Terence Judd/Hallé Award finals in 2009. Michael was awarded the Brennan and Field Prizes at the 2006 AXA Dublin International Piano Competition and the 2005 Camerata Ireland/Accenture Award.

Image courtesy of michaelmchale.com

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