Katie Mahan


Katie Mahan

Praised as "one of the most outstanding talents coming up today," American pianist Katie Mahan is capturing the attention of audiences throughout the world for her innovative musical personality, poetic interpretations, and graceful, charming stage presence. She possesses an unquestioned technical mastery combined with a kaleidoscopic palate of tone colors, and has been recognized as "a daring and innovative performer." A multi-faceted artist for whom music is an endless passion, Katie is at home in a broad repertoire ranging from Bach to Poulenc, and is particularly distinguished as an interpreter of the music of George Gershwin – performing her own daring, exciting solo piano arrangements to standing ovations across the globe – and Claude Debussy.

Katie's life has always been filled with music, and at the age of four, inspired by attending a performance of Gershwin's An American in Paris given by the famous French piano duo, Katia & Marielle Labèque, she decided that she wanted to be a concert pianist. She subsequently began piano studies with her mother, Bobette Mahan, giving her first solo recital two years later at the age of six. An American in Paris opened the door to the vast world of classical music for Katie, and her love of Gershwin quickly led her to discover the music of Debussy and Ravel, the French composers that Gershwin idolized. Although Katie's music now takes her all over the world, she never forgets her American heritage, and the great American composer who inspired her to become a pianist. Her programs often feature her own classical arrangements of her beloved countryman's music, alongside works of Debussy and the high pillars of the classical repertoire.

Katie's greatest pianistic influence came from her studies with the celebrated French pianist Pascal Rogé, with whom she studied the music of the French Impressionists. Rogé - who traces his musical heritage directly back to the great French tradition of Debussy and Ravel - was not only an important pianistic influence on Katie, but also inspired her to devote years of study to the search for understanding of French music, art and stylistic tradition. Today, Katie's playing epitomizes the French style of elegance, beauty and poetry. Thomas Veszelits of the Münchner Abendzeitung described Katie's Debussy thus: "Seasoned concertgoers who had already heard Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, long acclaimed as the best interpreter of Debussy and Ravel, were impressed by Katie Mahan. With such richness of color, perfection of tone, and structural clarity, she takes her world class place alongside the Maestro."

Since making her orchestral debut in 1999 performing Gershwin's Concerto in F with the Breckenridge Symphony, Katie has appeared in concert throughout the USA, Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Russia and Japan. She has performed with such celebrated conductors as Jiri Belohlavek, Marin Alsop - who described her as a pianist "in the style of Clara Schumann", Grant Cooper, and Lawrence Leighton-Smith, among others, and in such famous halls as the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Prinzregenten Theatre in Munich, and the Smetana Hall in Prague. Katie has participated in master classes by such musicians as Lang Lang – who praised her as “a fabulous pianist…full of emotion and originality”– Simon Trpceski, and Michel Béroff, and has recently preformed with orchestras including the Prague Philharmonia, Colorado Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, Cheyenne Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Boulder Philharmonic, Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, and the Wiener Residenz Orchestra, among others.

During the 2015-16 season, Katie will be presented in a concert tour of Germany, along with recitals and concerto performances throughout Europe and the USA. She will also perform as a special guest at the Deutscher Filmmusikpreis in Halle, Germany in October, and will record a CD of concerti by Rachmaninov and Gershwin with the Staatskapelle Halle in 2016.

She has recorded six independently released CDs featuring diverse repertoire, and has just completed a series of three CDs at the famous Emil Berliner Studios in Berlin, including a Chopin album, a Debussy album and a Beethoven album. Katie is also committed to finding new ways to bring younger audiences to classical music through multimedia, and is in the process of producing an innovative video project on Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.

Katie was a protégé of Howard Waltz - himself a student of the legendary French pianist Robert Casadesus - and studied with Robert Spillman at the University of Colorado College of Music where she graduated with highest honors. In addition to performing, Katie devotes her time and talent to the support of various humanitarian, medical, and educational causes. In 2014, Katie founded the Katie Mahan Foundation "Music for a Bright Tomorrow" whose objective is to promote classical music and to inspire giving through music. Katie is a Steinway artist and was awarded the Classic Superstar 2008 award by the Berliner Salon.