About

Nicholas McCarthy One Handed Pianist

Nicholas McCarthy was born in 1989 without his right hand and only began to play the piano at the late age of 14 after being inspired by a friend play Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata.

Having once been told that he would never succeed as a concert pianist, Nicholas would not be discouraged and went on to study at the prestigious Royal College of Music in London.

His graduation in July 2012 drew press headlines around the world, being the only one-handed pianist to graduate from the Royal College of Music in its 130 year history. In March 2018 he was awarded honorary membership by it’s President, HRH The Prince of Wales.

Nicholas is a champion of the dynamic and brave world of left hand alone repertoire, a repertoire that first came into being in the early 19th Century and developed rapidly following the First World War as a result of the many injuries suffered on the Battlefield. Paul Wittgenstein was responsible for its 20th Century developments with his commissions with Ravel, Prokofiev and Benjamin Britten amongst others.

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Having performed extensively throughout the UK including major venues including The Royal Albert Hall. Internationally Nicholas has toured and performed in France, Belgium,  Holland, South Africa, South Korea, Malta, Kazakhstan, Japan the U.S. and most recently a six city tour of China

One of Nicholas’s proudest moments was performing with the British Paraorchestra at the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic games where they played alongside Coldplay and gave a rendition of the Paralympic anthem in front of an audience of 86,000 people and half a billion worldwide viewers.

His concert performances, recordings and media features have gained critical acclaim. His ongoing commitment to encouraging new audiences to classical music along with his work with young people through music education is ever present in his schedule.

Motivational speaking engagements have seen Nicholas speak for a wide range of schools, businesses and institutions. One of the most enjoyable of these was his TED Talk at The Royal Albert Hall.

Nicholas is Patron & Ambassador for Nordoff Robbins, The One Handed Musicians Trust (OHMI) and Create charities.

In 2015 Nicholas attained official Yamaha Artist status and is an ambassador for the stunning Yamaha CFX Concert Grand, Nicholas’s piano of choice.

Who is Nicholas McCarthy ?