Michael Fennelly


Praised as a pianist with “flair and energy” (The New York Times), Michael Fennelly's recordings include The Legend of Faust: Part One and Debut.  He is currently recording Grand Tour in New York City. This season he is the soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic conducted by JoAnn Falletta in the Moross Symphony no. 1, and appears in concert with the Sanibel Music Festival, Palm Beach Theater Guild, and the Berkshire Theater Festival. He conducts Madama Butterfly with Amore Opera, and is the music director and pianist for Porgy and Bess with the Tillis Center for the Performing Arts.   

Michael Fennelly has the distinction of being named a Bösendorfer Artist, and recently represented the US on a tour of Japan for the State Department. He has performed in many of the world's great concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Munich’s Prinzregenten Theatre, and Berlin’s Komische Oper.  His recitals have been broadcast on WQXR (New York City) and NDR Radio (Germany).  On film, he appeared as the young Harry Truman (who initially trained to become a concert pianist) for PBS’ American Experience

A versatile and remarkable musician, Michael Fennelly recently played the Beethoven Choral Fantasy and Mozart's two piano concerto K.365 with the Saddleback Master Chorale, performed with the Talich Quartet in the Shostakovich Piano Quintet, Op.57, and conducted Lucia di Lammermoor in concert at Carnegie Hall. He was the head coach/pianist for Lyric Opera Virginia's production of La traviata, Opera Grand Rapid's La bohème, and the Buck Hill-Skytop Festival's production of La traviata. He assisted in several productions with New York City's Gotham Opera and in the premiere of John Musto's The Inspector with Wolf Trap Opera.  In the 2011-2012 season Michael Fennelly conducted Eric Salzman's Big Jim and the Small Time Investors and Arlene Sierra's Faustine with the Center for Contemporary Opera, as well as Cendrillon and Hansel and Gretel with Lyric Opera New York. He was the assistant conductor for Il barbiere di Siviglia and The King and I with Ash Lawn Opera.   

The Californian made his first concerto appearance at age ten, and subsequently performed with many orchestras throughout California, including the Orange County Philharmonic, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, Santa Clara Symphony and the South Coast Symphony Orchestra. While still in high school, he was flown to New York as a last-minute replacement for a soloist with the New York Virtuosi Orchestra, and performed Brahms’ First Piano Concerto in Germany.  He has performed concertos with the Manhattan Symphony and with the Barge Festival, and has participated in many world premieres, including Blitzstein’s Cain for the American Composers Alliance.

Michael Fennelly was the United States winner of the Horowitz Competition, and made his Carnegie Hall solo recital debut as winner of the Artist International Competition.  He was a prize-winner of the Young Artist Peninsula Music Festival, and the Young Keyboard Artist Association.  He has performed in Moscow Conservatory’s International Chopin Symposium, New York’s Schoenberg Music Festival, and Italy’s Wilhelm Kempff Beethoven Seminar, and in master classes under John O’Connor, Richard Goode, and Abbey Simon.

Michael Fennelly's early piano teachers were Trula Whelan and Earl Voorhies in California. He attended the Eastman School of Music as a pupil of Dr. Nelita True, and was awarded the prestigious Performer’s Certificate.  He continued his Masters and Doctoral studies with Byron Janis and Dr. Marc Silverman at the Manhattan School of Music, where he received the school’s special prize for chamber music and completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree with a dissertation on Metric Structure.  

Dr. Fennelly was a staff pianist and coach for several years with The Juilliard School. He instituted a chamber music program and worked with Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival, and has performed recitals with members of the New York Philharmonic and soloists from the Metropolitan Opera.  Michael Fennelly has performed for the Aristotle Onassis Foundation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kosciuszko Foundation, the Opera Index Foundation, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Allied Tours, Joy in Singing, and the Metropolitan Opera Guild.