Mackenzie Melemed, piano


  • Amy Beach (1867-1944) - Ballade Op.6 (1894) (10')
  • Robert Schumann (1810-1856) - Symphonic Variations Op.13 (1837/53) (24’)
  • Theme – Andante
  • Etude I (Variation 1) – Un poco più vivo
  • Etude II (Variation 2) – Andante
  • Etude III – Vivace
  • Etude IV (Variation 3) – Allegro marcato
  • Etude V (Variation 4) – Scherzando
  • Etude VI (Variation 5) – Agita
  • Etude VII (Variation 6) – Allegro molto
  • Etude VIII (Variation 7) – Sempre marcatissimo
  • Etude IX – Presto possibile
  • Etude X (Variation 8) – Allegro con energia
  • Etude XI (Variation 9) – Andante espressivo
  • Etude XII (Finale) – Allegro brillante (based on Marschner's theme)
  • Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) - Etude Op.7 No.4 in F# Major (1908) (2’)

Recipient of the 2022 Avery Fisher Career Grant, 29-year-old American pianist Mackenzie Melemed’s international career continues to flourish. In the press, Melemed is consistently lauded as a consummate solo artist, a remarkably sensitive chamber musician and first-class soloist with orchestra. Melemed, with “pianistic maturity twice his age,” is a “magician for romance and sweet lyricism.” His “crystal-clear pianism” is “nothing short of thrilling” with “unflagging commitment and deep understanding.”

Melemed was the winner of Juilliard’s 2019 Leo B. Ruiz Carnegie Hall Recital Prize and 2018 Arthur Rubinstein Prize, as well as the Jade Medal at the 2019 China International Music Competition and the first prize and chamber music prize at Finland’s 2017 Maj Lind International Piano Competition. Praised by the New York Times as an “excellent young pianist” Melemed, a Steinway Artist, has performed in venues such as The White House (2004-2008), Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, and the Helsinki Music Centre. He has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and KBS Symphony. Melemed was a laureate of the 2021 American Pianists Awards and received a cash prize of $50,000 for the distinction.

Melemed’s 2023-2024 season included several debuts and numerous re-engagements with orchestras in the United States, Canada and Finland. Notable performances include Sinfonia Lahti with Hannu Lintu, Edmonton Symphony with Michael Stern (Canadian premiere of Avner Dorman’s Piano Concerto No.3), Symphony Tacoma with Sarah Ioannides, and Tampere Philharmonic with Matthew Halls.

In recent seasons, Melemed performed with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Tapiola Sinfonietta and Tarmo Peltokoski, and The Helsinki Philharmonic and Mei-Ann Chen. An avid chamber musician, he participated in the San Diego Symphony and Billings Symphony chamber music series, the YeolMaru Chamber Music Festival in Korea, as well as with the Dover Quartet. Melemed looks forward to a busy summer of chamber music at Rockport Music, Kuhmo Chamber Music, and the Tallinn Chamber Music Festival.

In 2020, Melemed commissioned a new Piano Concerto from Israeli-American composer Avner Dorman. The world-premiere performances were given with the Thüringen Philharmonie Gotha-Eisenach under Dorman’s baton to rave reviews and thunderous applause. Since the premiere, additional performances have been given in Finland, Poland and Canada.

Melemed is a graduate of the Artist Diploma program at The Juilliard School with Robert McDonald and Emanuel Ax. Melemed also holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, where he graduated from the accelerated five-year-dual-degree program.

Since 2020, Melemed has lived in Finland. His success following the 2017 Maj Lind Piano Competition, coupled with his fluency in Finnish from Columbia University language courses, launched his successful performance career with invitations to perform with several of Finland’s orchestras and at major music festivals.

About the Dame Myra Hess Concerts

The concerts are generously sponsored by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and by individual donors.

Upcoming Performances

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