The conversations we have with ourselves either facilitate or slow down the pursuit to understand potential. It is not the external obstacles that determine one’s path, rather, the process of working with the challenges that accompany all of us who want to “go for it” in life.
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.
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.
Having performed extensively throughout the UK in all the major venues including The Royal Albert Hall. Internationally Nicholas has toured South Africa, South Korea, Malta, Kazakhstan and the U.S.
In This Episode:
- Overcoming a late start to playing the piano
- The confidence his parents instilled in him from early age
- Visualizing the thing he was told he couldn’t do
- His process for embracing challenge
- Using imagery as a guide for performing in new venues
- Why he loves the piano
- The transition from amateur to pro
- The meaning behind anything is possible
- How he deals with his inner critic
- Belief as a word that cuts to the center of what he stands for
- Creating a relationship with his fans through music
- Exercise as a method for staying mentally strong