British-born Nicholas McCarthy only began to play the piano at the late age of 14. Born without his right hand, he is one of a few left-handed pianists worldwide and at present is the youngest left-handed pianist. At 17, Nicholas was awarded a place at the Junior Department of the Guildhall School of Music and then went on to study at the Royal College of Music in London, where he made history by being the only left-handed pianist to graduate since its was founded.
Since this time he has performed throughout the UK and internationally in major venues including Queen Elizabeth Hall, St Martin in the Fields, St James’s Piccadilly, Fairfield Halls, Wales Millenium Centre, Steinway Hall, The Capetown Convention Centre and Linder Auditorium in South Africa, The Vilhena Palace and the Offices of the Prime Minister in Malta. His performance at the Vilhena Palace was described by The Times as “sheer poetry.” Most recently Nicholas and the British Paraorchestra performed at the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic games where they played alongside Coldplay.
Nicholas has received numerous awards for his contribution to music and most recently was awarded the prestigious international AMI Award for his creative excellence in music and was presented to him at a ceremony held at The London Studios.
Tonight’s performance is being presented by the Kennedy Center’s Education Department Office of VSA and Accessibility, under the auspices of the Rosemary Kennedy Education fund, which ensures that people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts.