Mackenzie Melemed
Pianist Mackenzie Melemed will be performing again in Half Moon Bay, thanks to some music-loving benefactors.

Mackenzie Melemed found his calling at a yard sale. Three-year-old Melemed was given a $1 keyboard by his grandfather. Relatively soon afterward, his undeniable talent began to reveal itself, and a musical prodigy was born.

By age 7, he’d performed more than 200 concerts for seniors and charitable organizations. In 2004, he was playing at the White House holiday open house, a gig he played for five consecutive years. In 2006, he began classical music training, and a mere one year later he won his first international piano competition and made his debut in Carnegie Hall. 

Now, he’s bringing his musical talents back to Half Moon Bay. The 24-year-old pianist will be playing for free at 2 p.m. on Feb. 29 at the Community United Methodist Church in Half Moon Bay.

Melemed is currently pursuing his doctorate at the Juilliard School, a private performing arts conservatory in New York City, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music. Diana Glimm has sponsored Melemed for a dozen years. The 93-year-old lives in San Diego, but her daughter, Robin Kirby, a local real estate agent, has organized Melemed’s free performances here for the past five years. 

With an extensive list of accomplishments and accolades, Melemed has played in esteemed venues across the globe. Last year was especially eventful for Melemed. In December, he made his debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as the winner of the Ruiz Memorial Prize. In May, he finished third in the first China International Music Competition in Beijing. 

Along the way, he played Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 13 with Finland’s Vaasa City Orchestra and had solo recitals in Paris and Finland. Listen to his recitals and see him perform at mackenziemelemed.com.

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