The American pianist Michael Lu is gaining international recognition for his “moving” (Pianist) performances of a “warm, enveloping tone” (Cleveland Classical). His repertoire is expansive, featuring an exceptionally diverse range of musical styles from the 16th to the 21st centuries.

Among his achievements, Michael was personally selected by Murray Perahia to participate in his series of masterclasses on the Beethoven piano sonatas in Munich, Germany—an international event sponsored by the eminent publishing house G. Henle Verlag that took place in June 2022. Michael was coached by the great pianist on the Beethoven piano sonata opus 111 and performed a lunch concert with the nine other selected participants. Michael was additionally one of six pianists chosen by Maria João Pires for her inaugural North American Partitura Residency—an event that was regrettably called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a concerto soloist, Michael has performed with numerous orchestras encompassing three continents, including the Orchestre de Cannes (France) and the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra at Powell Symphony Hall. The young artist has worked with such conductors as Sergio Monterisi, Stephen Mulligan, and Gemma New. Michael’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra conducted by New in 2017 was broadcast on television at PBS affiliate KETC (Nine Network of Public Media). An accomplished chamber musician, Michael has performed chamber music with members of the Chicago Symphony and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras in the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis. Throughout high school, he was a member of the Young Artist Chamber Program of the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis under the direction of Alvin McCall and a scholarship student of the Preparatory Program of the Community Music School of Webster University under the direction of Vera Parkin.

In December 2017, Michael founded Classical Music for a Better World (CMBW) and currently serves as its president and artistic director. Its mission is to powerfully communicate the essence of the human spirit embodied in the greatest music. This mission centers itself on a series of online mini-concerts. Highlights of these mini-concerts include an August 2020 lecture-recital on Florence Price’s Piano Sonata in E minor and a mini-concert honoring International Women’s Day 2021 with music by Price, Teresa Carreño, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Jennifer Higdon, and Juliane Reichardt.

Michael has won prizes in numerous competitions, including the First Prize in the Midwest International Piano Competition in 2014—where the jury included Alexander Toradze—and a gold medal with High Distinction in the Manhattan International Music Competition in 2019.

Born in August 1999 in Boston, Michael moved to St. Louis when he was three. He began piano studies two years later, at age five. During his years in high school, his mentors were Stanislav Ioudenitch and Seth Carlin. Michael currently studies with Antonio Pompa-Baldi as a full-scholarship student at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Michael also had additional private studies with Jon Kimura Parker and Reid Smith. For more information, please visit

Current as of June 2022