Belmont University graduate student of music James Matthews knows what it takes to work as a professional concert pianist. Practices some 10 hours a day, Matthews recently accomplished one of his dreams and played with the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra.
After winning the adult division of the organization’s Concerto Competition, he was invited to play with the group. The competition also includes categories for young artist and composition and spans over all instruments and vocals.
Performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the orchestra was a “dream come true” for Matthews. “The concerto is considered to be one of the most difficult piano pieces ever composed, and it challenged me to go further beyond what I thought was possible on the piano,” he said.
“Being a graduate student, with professors that I have here at Belmont University, enables me to pursue a higher element of learning that helps polish my craft even more,” Matthews said. “It provides those trained ears to guide and counsel you as you perform in real world situations from Carnegie Hall to The Nashville Philharmonic.”
Matthews has played prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall and has been featured on the Ellen Show.