“With a tone and approach entrancing from the outset,” (New York Concert Review, Inc.) Matthew Figel is an emerging pianist known for his captivating and thoughtful performances. The first musician in his family, Matthew began his piano studies at age ten in Midland, Texas, making his recital debut that same year. He is currently an undergraduate studying at the Eastman School of Music, pursuing degrees in Piano Performance and Musical Arts under the tutelage of Marina Lomazov and previously Nelita True. A winner of the Eastman Concerto Competition, Matthew became one of the youngest students to solo with the Eastman Philharmonia in the school’s history. In recognition of his academic achievements, Matthew was inducted into Eastman’s Pi Kappa Lambda honor society. He was further awarded the Anne T. Cummins Prize in Humanities as well as the John Celentano Award for Excellence in Chamber Music at the Eastman School of Music Commencement ceremony to recognize his commitment in these fields.
Among his other awards are first prizes in the Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition and the Harold Protsman Classical Period Competition. An alumnus of Interlochen Arts Academy, he was chosen as the school’s first-ever Senior Performer, an honor given to a student to represent the graduating class with a solo performance at the final Commencement ceremony. His teachers here included Thomas Lymenstull and Michael Coonrod, following Matthew’s studies with Mark Puckett. Matthew has performed in masterclasses instructed by Emanuel Ax, Pascal Rogé, Hung-Kuan Chen, Paul Lewis, and Simone Dinnerstein, among others. He is also an avid collaborative pianist, performing in masterclasses for artists such as Renée Fleming, Jon Nakamatsu, and the Ying Quartet. A past fellow at PianoFest in the Hamptons, he has also attended summer festivals such as PianoTexas International Festival and Academy, Gijón International Piano Festival, and the Aspen School of Music. Recently, Matthew has been chosen as the Artist-in-Residence at Valley Manor, where he will perform concerts monthly for the community next year.