Süddeutsche Zeitung

“She is charming, has personality and plays the piano like no one else: the American pianist Katie Mahan is currently enchanting the music world.”

Online Merker

”On this acoustically spacious CD, Katie Mahan interprets the Fantasy KV 394 with an unerring sense of melodic effects and rich thematic material. No less impressive is her sensitive rendition of the Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor K. 310 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The heroic and tragic character of the first movement comes into its own here – and the dynamic intensity constantly increases. One senses the rigid fanaticism of the will, which the pianist expresses with unusual rhythmic clarity. The fanfare-like main theme also shines out with great intensity and is reminiscent of a dramatic overture. Katie Mahan effectively brings out tragedy and pathos here. And the unusual rhythmic accentuation captivates in the interpretation of the further movements.”

Capriccio Kulturforum

Für die DGG-CD-Jubiläumsbox „Leonard Bernstein Complete Works“ hat die amerikanische Pianistin Katie Mahan am 25. und 26.11.2017 Bernsteins Solo-Klavierwerke im Meistersaal in Berlin neu eingespielt. Die Aufnahme der Sonate packt mich vehement für das Werk – pianistisch fulminant, virtuos zupackend, mit starker Innenspannung gespielt, dramatisch genauso wie fein schattiert geheimnisvoll. Eine starke Vorgabe für weitere Aufnahmen!

Klassik Heute

“With the first notes played, one jumps up as if struck by an electric shock: one hears power and delicacy, formal sovereignty and playful virtuosity, and above all: seriousness.”


”It is in the Sonata Op. 53 that the pianist gives free rein to her temperament, delivering a committed testimony that seduces the listener with a euphoric serenity that grows. The tempo is always ample, sometimes stretched; the technique details the timbres with clarity and flexibility, giving the Allegro assai a space of mystery and tension combined with an order of passion. The Andante that follows accentuates the restraint without thickening the line, the capacity for meditation or the solemnity. In the final Allegro ma non troppo, the pianist surrenders with pleasure to this race to the abyss, with great tormented strength.”

Weilheimer Tagblatt

”Anyone who wanted to succumb to the prejudice that such glittering packaging could serve to distract from the performance was immediately taught otherwise. Katie Mahan could as well perform in a T-shirt and sweatpants: her phenomenal piano playing would have made the audience cheer even then.”

Atlanta Audio Club

“Katie Mahan shows her formidable prowess on, and instincts for, the power of the piano keyboard in a Liszt/Mozart recital that must quality as one of the year’s best. Beginning with Franz Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor, she displays an all-important long perspective on a work that is a marvel of organic construction.  Mahan ensures that the music never loses an iota of intensity, even in its quietest moments.”

Klassik Heute

“Expressive and technically perfect. Highly tense and expressive, not forgetting the cantabile, Katie Mahan plays Mozart’s Sonata in A minor K. 310, understands it as biographically influenced, whips it with sharp accents, threatens with the rhythmically monotonous bass figures and shapes with pointed attacks. In the second movement, one of the most artistic and differentiated of Mozart’s slow movements, she produces an eerie sounding sfumato in the left hand and enlivens the runs with tiny, suspicious pauses before the arrival notes, lending this movement a high, almost painful, tension. Technically perfect, she then races through the presto of the final movement as if possessed: the suppressed demonry is suspended in the playing technique”

Paweł Chmielowski, PŁYTOMANIAK (Poland)

“The entire Sonata in F minor Op. 57 aroused my great appreciation. The American pianist has her own vision of the work, and you cannot deny her consistency and power of persuasion. She carefully selects the tempos, which are moderate but accurate, and she listens to absolutely every note of both hands and translates them into expressiveness. I especially liked the richness of sound that Katie Mahan produced at the beginning, and I was impressed by the particularly expressive basses which hardly anyone pays attention to. The execution of [the Sonata in E major ] Op. 109 is also very convincing. It is filled with amazing creative fantasy, and at the same time with lyricism and a truly romantic spirit. The artist skillfully navigates the world of the three movements of the work; she chooses careful tempos – neither too fast nor too slow, applying the rule of the golden mean – she carefully respects the markings in the score, and she understands and reflects the world of expression of this work in a consistent and effective way.”

MusicWeb International

“The Appassionata Sonata has a big and epic character in Mahan’s account. Its opening comes across with plenty of mystery, the development is well conceived and the remainder of the movement is most convincing. The ‘theme and variations’ second movement is paced slowly in the outer sections and richly buttered with abundant sostenuto applied to chords. The livelier inner variations have a graceful but chipper demeanor in their happy, mostly unhurried tread forward. The finale is well played too: it is energetic and spirited, Mahan’s digital clarity and accenting quite fine. In her account of the Sonata No. 30 the first movement rightly divulges a mixture of the serene and playful. Her rendition of the second movement is very convincing in its tempo, dynamics, accenting and other aspects of phrasing. The finale is even better, Mahan delivering her best performance on the disc in arguably the finest music here. She makes the outer sections work with imaginative phrasing and subtle interpretive acumen, and then, in contrast, she brings on a sense of grandeur and ultimate triumph in the faster variations in between. A fine performance! These performances herald a highly successful career for this fine young pianist.”

Klassik Heute

“Katie Mahan makes no excuses in Liszt’s Sonata in B minor, neither the extreme, never-ending power development nor the beautiful-sounding dolcissimo; she logically and convincingly proves how confidently she understands the structure of this sonata. She never lets herself be carried away to mere witch frenzy.”

Online Merker

“Katie Mahan’s robust rendition of Franz Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor captivates above all because of her sensitive exploration of the motivic cells, which assert themselves with tonal power. The pianist in no way denies the symphonic dimension of this composition. Stormy effects flash, giving a revolutionary, wild character. The intensity of the lyrical secondary theme in D major shows an almost hypnotic luminosity while the fugato masterfully unfolds an unbelievable magic in the octave stretta. The pianist succeeds in moving and touching musical descriptions of human passions, flights of fancy and struggles. The transfigured final chords are also of the greatest impact here. Overall, it’s an excellent rendition.”

American Record Guide

“This is very special. At first I thought the Rhapsody somewhat willful interpretively. A second hearing confirmed this, but who cares? Mahan makes the Rhapsody so much a part of the fabric of her being that this solo piano version seems right. Besides, there are no real distortions—just a few tempos that might be considered too espressivo. The album also includes a video where Mahan explicates her feelings about the Rhapsody, along with visuals explaining Gershwin’s love for the New York of his time, along with a few of the places that meant so much to him, and to Mahan as well. If I prefer to see the pianist at work without the visuals that’s my problem. She certainly is a stunning woman.
Also special is Mahan’s transcription of the Second Rhapsody and several of the songs. She also does a few of Earl Wild’s transcriptions, and her work is superlatively accomplished. ‘Walking the Dog’, a sequence from the 1937 Fred Astaire movie “Shall We Dance”, is also included.
The pianist studied first with her mother until Pascal Roge became her mentor. She made her orchestral debut performing Gershwin’s Piano Concerto, and has appeared extensively in the US and abroad. She was born in Denver, but currently lives in Salzburg, Austria. While I would like to hear how this pianist does in more standard repertory (Steinway has a few more recordings pending release), there can be no doubt as to her ability to match Gershwin’s improvisatory style and embrace his essence. The recording could not be more pleasing to the ear.” (Becker) 

Badische Zeitung

,,Beethoven, mit Format” – Ihrem Ruf, derzeit eines der herausragenden jüngeren Talente der internationalen Klavierszene zu sein, wird Katie Mahan mit dieser CD erneut gerecht. Die Amerikanerin beweist, dass sie einen Draht zur Wiener Klassik hat – zu Beethoven. Es wird ein Bogen über rund 20 Jahre geschlagen: von der f-Moll-Sonate mit dem Beinamen “Appassionata” (wie auch der CD-Titel lautet) bis zu den 1825 veröffentlichten Bagatellen op. 126. Letztere sind bei Katie Mahan nie Nebensächlichkeiten, sondern dichte Kleinformen (Es-Dur-Finale!). Ob Scherzo-Gestus oder Cantabile-Lyrik: Die Wahl-Salzburgerin macht sie sich farbenreich zu eigen. Entdeckt bei den Sonaten lyrische Urzellen. Sehr schön gespielt die Variationen: in der E-Dur-Sonate op. 109 wirklich “mit innigster Empfindung”. Entrückt die Variationen der “Appassionata”. Der Kehraus als wilde Vision, mit Leidenschaft, aber ohne Grobheiten. Die CD dokumentiert zwei Jahrzehnte, in denen der Komponist gelassener geworden ist. Beethoven-Deutungen mit Format. (Johannes Adam)


“As a true Gershwin fan, Katie Mahan plays with ease and verve, with a great sense for the tonal beauty and livliness of this music. Technically, ashe has no worries, everything sounds crystal clear. A joy for all Gershwin fans.”

Piano News

Oft gehört und einfach großartige Evergreens sind viele Werke von George Gershwin. Wer sich ihm widmet, musst ihn schon sehr lieben. Gleich mit dem Auftakt „Rhapsody in Blue“ erweist sich die US-Amerikanische Pianistin Katie Mahan, die in Salzburg lebt, als passionierte Gershwin-Pianistin. Der Klassiker lässt sofort aufhorchen – da ist jemand, der das nicht einfach als Standard-Repertoire herunterspielt oder es zu Bar-Musik verkommen lässt, sondern mit Begeisterung dabei ist.  Bewusst nennt Katie Mahan ihre Aufnahme „Classical Gershwin“. Ihr Anliegen ist es, unabhängig von dem Meinungen darüber, wie Gershwin sich selbst gesehen hat, oder in welche Richtung er gehen wollte, seine Musik in den Bereich der Klassik anzusiedeln und aus dem immer noch mit weniger Ernsthaftigkeit bedachten Broadway-Milieu herauszuholen.  Ob das notwendig ist oder nicht – mag immer wieder neu diskutiert werden. Im Blick auf die Brillianz und die Gelassenheit, mit der Mahan dieser Musik begegnet, ist das auch unerheblich.  Ihr gelinkt eine kraftvolle Synthese von Jazz und Kunstmusik, ohne die Leichtigkeit zu vernachlässigen.  Die meisten der Arrangements für Solo-Klavier stammen von ihr, zwei von dem wunderbaren Earl Wild. Die Bearbeitungen zeigen einmal mehr, welche Kleinode die großen Klassiker sind, wenn das Ohr und die Füße sanft in „Swonderful“ oder „They Can‘t Take That Away from Me“ mitschwingen. Katie Mahan vermag es, das Bekannte mit Stil neu zu verpacken und sie begeistert uns – auch auf der Bonus-DVD – erneut für Gershwin. (Reczijowski)

Fanfare Magazine

“Katie Mahan’s performance of Clair de lune may be my favorite performance of this piece for all time. This, I should note, is not a statement I make lightly. I shall not attempt to be fair and say, “Yes, I have heard other renderings of Clair de lune, which are perhaps as beautiful and moving,” because 1) this statement is most certainly untrue and 2) even if it were possibly true, I would return again and again to listen to Mahan’s performance. Hearing Mahan perform Clair de lune, I was instantly reminded why this music is profound and why it should still be performed and celebrated, despite the naysayers who call it “clichéd” or “easy” or say that it is over-performed and over-played. It encapsulates both a complete narrative and it captures all the essentials—the compositional shape, the dynamics, the melodic and harmonic preferences—of Debussy’s sound.

Plus, Mahan just has that Debussy sound in her fingers. It is a difficult quality to describe in a brief review, but there is some undefinable essence—some deeper understanding perhaps, some further contextual knowledge or psychic connection—that Mahan seems to draw out of the music, out of the piano, that catches the listener and commands attention. Perhaps it is more about Mahan’s approach to the instrument, the time she spends (she is in no hurry to finish the piece, she seems to live in those spaces between the notes) and how carefully she moves along the shape of the music, almost feeling her way (in a sense). Her sound feels so light and easy.

Mahan’s references back to the poem by Paul Verlaine, which inspired Debussy’s piece, and the pantomime drama of the commedia dell’arte seem to be largely important to how she envisioned both her performance as well as her music video. In the video, Mahan appears as a commedia dell’arte character (wearing shiny red pants and carrying a mask), as a woman (wearing a purple dress) entertained by a street magician, and as a pianist (shiny blue skirt) performing Clair de lune. In between, we catch glimpses of Venetian canals and a full moon over the water and other masked figures. Visually, the video seems to represent both the dramatic and superficial world, and therefore seems to ask the deeper question: What is real? What is reality but a series of colorful faces, or a sequence of beautiful sounds?

Not only does Mahan perform Clair de lune and produce and star in this bonus music video, which is also included with the album, she has also organized the album as a kind of retrospective of Debussy’s musical career. Alongside the candor and commentary of Debussy’s second book of Préludes, she has also included Pour le Piano (composed between 1894 and 1901) and Deux Arabesques (composed between 1888 and 1891). Taken all together, this is an album that celebrates Debussy and perhaps the many masks he wore throughout his lifetime. I am so excited to hear more from this talented musician.”

Elusive Disc

“In this live direct-to-disc recording, Mahan not only captures the spontaneity and originality inherent to the fiber of Gershwin’s music, but also transports the music into the classical realm where the composer most desired to be.”

Takt 1

“Die amerikanische Pianistin Katie Mahan hat sämtliche Klavier-Solo-Werke von Leonard Bernstein auf einer Platte versammelt – überwiegend sind es Charakterstücke für Personen, die dem Komponisten wichtig waren. Mahan fühlt diesen Persönlichkeiten sensibel nach: Lyrisch-innig versinkt sie etwa in dem Geburtstagsstück für Felicia Montealegre, zart lässt sie die Klavierhämmer gegen die Saiten in Gedenken an Natalie Koussevitzky tupfen und im dritten Satz der “Music For The Dance” stellt sie kontraststark wildes Donnern und unschuldiges Singen nebeneinander. Mahan glückt eine so vielschichtige Gesamtaufnahme, wie es die Komponistenpersönlichkeit Bernstein verlangt. Mit Groove, spitzen Avantgardklängen und einem Hauch Romantik.”


“Die in Salzburg lebende amerikanische Pianistin Katie Mahan hat schon mit mehreren CDs von sich reden gemacht. Dass sie eine begnadete Debussy-Interpretin ist, zeigt sie jetzt mit dem auf ihrem eigenen Label herausgebrachten Album Clair de lune, das einen interessanten Streifzug durch das Oeuvre des französischen Komponisten macht, mit dem 2. Band der Préludes als Hauptgang.

Mit ihren agilen Fingern weiß sie, wie sie die Klangfarben ihres Instruments an die stilistischen Bedürfnisse jeder Komposition anpasst. Auch in der Dynamik erzielt sie direkt magische Ergebnisse. Man braucht sich nur Brouillards oder Feuilles Mortes anzuhören, um Mahan als singuläre Farbkünstlerin zu identifizieren. Die Klarheit des Diskurses erlaubt es ihr aber auch, direkt auf den Punkt zu kommen, ohne den harmonischen Rahmen zu vernachlässigen. Dabei fällt besonders die Pflege des Bassfundaments auf, der so manches Stück besonders eloquent werden lässt. General Lavine etwa wird wunderbar exzentrisch, ohne in Klangmalerei zu verfallen, weil hier nur Impressionen vermittelt werden. Mit diesem Vorgehen verliert so manches Stück die Unschärfe, die andere Pianisten ihm in nebulösem Interpretieren angedeihen lassen. Mahans Phantasie, ihr Klangempfinden und ihr Raffinement ermöglichen es der Musik zu atmen, ohne den Faden zu verlieren und die rhythmische Stringenz aus Spiel zu setzen.

So klangsubtil und mit so viel ‘Clarté’ wird Debussy selten interpretiert.

Viel zum guten Eindruck, den diese CD hinterlässt, trägt auch die Aufnahmetechnik bei, die ein gestochen scharfes, bestens ausbalanciertes, präsentes und doch nicht zu enges Klangbild besorgt. Meine Empfehlung: auch wenn man viele Debussy-Aufnahmen besitzt, sollte man dieser neuen CD eine Chance geben. Sie eröffnet durchaus neue Aspekte.”

“We are tonight in the presence of greatness.”

Franz Mohr, legendary Steinway technician, on Katie’s performance in the Benedict Music tent in Aspen, Colorado

Münchner Abendzeitung

“Schon ihre Erscheinung verleiht der Bühne eine besondere Magie. Eine Fee am Klavier. Behutsam berührt sie die Tasten, ein Stück von Claude Debussy wird sie hervorzaubern. Selbst verwöhnte Konzertbesucher, die bereits Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli als den erklärt besten Interpreten von Debussy und Ravel gehört haben, werden von Katie Mahan beeindruckt sein. Mit welchem farblichen Reichtum, klanglicher Vollendung und strukturellen Klarheit sie ihren Debussy spielt, da hält sie mit dem Maestro in der Weltklasse mit.” (Thomas Veszelits)

Rainer Maillard, Tonmeister Emil Berliner Studios, on recording Katie’s Bernstein album

“Es war ein außergewöhnliche Freude und Genugtuung mit Katie zu arbeiten. Ich kenne nur wenige Künstler mit einer derartigen Professionalität. Sie war einfach top vorbereitet und hat es wirklich sehr gut gemacht. Deshalb ging die Aufnahme und der Schnitt auch so flott.”

Takt 1

“The American pianist Katie Mahan has collected all of Leonard Bernstein’s solo piano works on one disc – mostly pieces of character for people who were important to the composer. Mahan sensitively empathizes with these personalities: for example, she sinks lyrically and intimately in the birthday piece for Felicia Montealegre, delicately dabbing the piano hammers against the strings in memory of Natalie Koussevitzky and in the third movement of ‘Music For The Dance’ she makes wild thunders of high contrast and innocent singing side by side. Mahan succeeds in a multi-layered overall picture that composer Bernstein demands. With groove, sharp avant-garde sounds and a touch of romance.”

Badische Zeitung

“Beethoven, with Quality” – With this CD, Katie Mahan lives up to her reputation of currently being one of the outstanding young talents of the international piano scene. The American proves that she has a connection to Viennese classical music – to Beethoven.  The program spans an arc of nearly 20 years, from the F minor sonata, the so-called “Appassionata” (also the title of the CD) to the Bagatelles Op. 126, published in 1825.  The latter are never incidents works for Katie Mahan, but rather tightly conceived miniatures (E-flat major finale!). Whether scherzo gestures or cantabile poetry, the Salzburg-based artist colorfully makes them her own.  In the sonatas, she discovers lyrical underpinnings.  The variations are played very beautifully: in the E major Sonata Op. 109 really “with the most intimate feeling”, and in the Appassionata with elation. The finale is presented as a wild vision, passionately but never with insensitivity.  The CD documents two decades in with the composer found tranquility.  Beethoven interpretations with quality. (Johannes Adam)

Piano News

There are many works of George Gershwin that are simply timeless classics and are often heard. For a musician to dedicate herself to Gershwin, she has to love him very much. Right from the start of “Rhapsody in Blue”, the American pianist Katie Mahan, who lives in Salzburg, proves to be a passionate Gershwin interpreter. The classics immediately make you sit up and take notice – here is someone who doesn’t just play it down as standard repertoire or let it degenerate into bar music, but is truly enthusiastic about it. 

Katie Mahan deliberately calls her recording “Classical Gershwin”. Irrespective of the opinions about how Gershwin saw himself or in which direction he wished to go, her aim is to place his music firmly in the realm of classical music and out of the Broadway milieu, which is still looked down upon as being less serious. Whether this is necessary or not is always subject to discussion, but in view of the brilliance and serenity with which Mahan approaches this music, it is also irrelevant. She creates a powerful synthesis of jazz and art music without neglecting the lightness of the music.

Most of the arrangements for solo piano are her own, with the exception of two by the wonderful Earl Wild. Together, they show once again what gems these great classics are, as melodies like “Swonderful” or “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” gently resonate in the ear and make you tap your feet. Katie Mahan manages to repackage the familiar with style and she inspires us – also on the bonus DVD – once again for Gershwin. (Reczijowski)

Analog Planet

“It takes nerves of steel and a healthy serving of humility to agree to record direct-to-disc a solo piano recital but that’s what Katie Mahan signed on for here. The results are both musically and sonically rewarding…This recording, produced by the same team that was involved in the Berlin Philharmonic’s D2D Brahms box set was recorded in Berlin’s Meistersaal, built in 1910 as a chamber music concert hall. The Steinway D piano was miked with a Josephson C700, and a Sennheiser MKE 212R, fed into a DGG vintage tube mixing desk and then to a Neumann VMS80/SX74 lathe and cutter head driven by an Ortofon GO 741 amp. If that sounds to you like a prescription for sonic beauty you would be correct!…The piano sound is vivid and direct as only a D2D can deliver, with a rich surrounding reverb that cushions but never distracts from the main event. Mahan’s performance is exuberant and not the kind of overly cautious, controlled take D2D sometimes produces in more cautious performers. There is at least one minor ‘clam’ but that just adds to the concert hall reality of a live performance and good for Mahan to let it all hang out!” (Michael Fremer)


“The American pianist Katie Mahan has already made a name for herself with several CDs. With the album Clair de lune, released on her own label KM, she now shows that she is a gifted Debussy performer. With her agile fingers, she knows how to adapt the timbres of her instrument to the stylistic needs of each composition. She also achieves directly magical results with subtle dynamics. One only has to listen to Brouillards or Feuilles Mortes to identify Mahan’s as a singular colour palette. The importance of the lower register, which makes some pieces very eloquent, is particularly striking. With this procedure, many a piece loses the blur that other pianists give it in more nebulous interpretations. Mahan’s imagination, her sense of sound and her refinement allow the music to breathe without losing its thread and the rhythmic stringency. Debussy is seldom interpreted so subtly and with so much ‘clarté’. Much of the good impression is also due to the recording technique, which provides a clear, well-balanced, present and yet not too narrow sound. My recommendation: even if you have many Debussy recordings, you should give this new CD a chance. It certainly opens up new aspects.”

Scott Nangle Audio

“The American pianist Katie Mahan is dedicated to the “classical” side of George Gershwin. The masterpiece, the “Rhapsody in Blue”, is also the highlight of this direct-cut recording: Mahan herself arranged a virtuoso and brilliantly executed version for solo from the jazz classic monument originally written for two pianos (or piano and orchestra). Page two offers two classic Gershwin songs in impressionist-like arrangements, and three of his charming and virtuosic preludes for piano. Miss Mahan impresses with a gently soft touch and a jazzy sense of rhythm – an important and rare combination for Gershwin. Successful recording in more than convincing sound quality.”

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

“Insgesamt ein Genuss, von dem man gern noch mehr hätte vertragen können.”

Neue Ruhr Zeitung

“Wohl abgerundet und wunderbar erfolgreich wurden besonders die Töne, Melodien und Harmonien von Katie Mahan gespielt. Selten hört man die Basspartien so gepsielt wie hier. Zahlreiche Nuancen des Klangs … bisweilen Stark, bisweilen überraschen Zart und intim, umgaben und verführten die Zuhörer.”

“Une jeune pianiste avec un grand talent et un grand avenir qui m’a beaucoup impressionné par son talent musical rare, et aussi par sa personnalité très intéressante ; ses interpretétations sont toujours originales et personnelles.”

  • French Pianist Pascal Rogé

Pad Pyrmonter Zeitung

“Mit Katie Mahan war eines der faszinierendsten Talente der internationalen Konzertszene im kleinen Saal des Konzerthauses zu Gast. Mit dem rasanten Ersten Programmteil, den „Préludes, deuxième livre” von Claude Debussy, dem Komponisten zwischen Romantik und Moderne, erwies sie gleich zum Einstieg diesem Vorbild ihres Vorbildes George Gershwin ihre Referenz. Eine brillante Interpretation des Zweiten Buches der Préluden, die Debussy recht intellektuell geprägt, in den Jahren 1911 bis 1913 schrieb. Katie Mahans Eintritt in die Welt der klassischen Musik war allerdings Georges Gershwin, über den sie weiter an die Komponisten Ravel und Debussy gelangte, und so verleugnet sie ihre amerikanische Wurzeln keineswegs. Nach einem Ausflug in Ludwig van Beethovens „Sonate Nr. 30 E-Dur op. 109”, auf höchstem technischen Niveau zelebriert, und dem „Liebestod aus Tristan und Isolde” im Arrangement des Piano-Solos von Isoldes Liebestod durch Franz Liszt. Schließlich dann doch Gershwin, sozusagen als patriotischer Höhepunkt. „Our Love is Here to Stay” und „I got Rhythm” bestechen in der Nachbarschaft der Klassiker durch das perfekt auf Katie Mahan zugeschnittene eigene Arrangement, hier vereinen sich ihr französischer Piano-Stil und amerikanische Musicalelemente zu klanglicher Vollendung, Eleganz und Poesie. Das Publikum reagierte begeistert, verlangte nach Zugaben und wurde mit nochmals Gershwin und einer Étude von Frédéric Chopin für seinen Beifall belohnt.” (Rudi Rudolph)

Neue Ruhe Zeitung

“Brilliant, masterly playing…associations with the young Clara Schumann were revived — she could have played like this.”


This is a marvelous new all-Debussy recital by American pianist Katie Mahan. The recital opens with a gorgeous rendition of “Clair de lune” lovingly paced and radiating lyricism, passion, tonal beauty, and seductive phrasing. Each of the ensuing 12 Préludes, Book 2, are marvelously played, articulated, and given an individual characterization. (Ken Meltzer)

“A young pianist of unusual beauty whose playing encompasses not only the full range of virtuosity through enthusiasm and inner volcanic power, but also the deeper emotional side of music.”

  • Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski

Pforzheimer Zeitung

“Vom Erscheinungsbild eine Prinzessin” wie angekündigt, am Klavier eine begnadete “Geschichtenerzählerin”, verzauberte die junge Amerikanerin mit bekannten Werken ihrer beiden Lieblingskomponisten Claude Debussy and George Gershwin. Bei Debussys schillernden “Préludes, deuxième livre” machte sie sich sogar die Mühe, jedes einzelne Stück anzumoderieren und den Musikliebhabern im gut gefüllten Saal dadurch den immensen Klangfarbenreichtum der Musik und den unerhörten Aufwand, den der Komponist bei der Ausgestaltung des Zyklus betrieb, nahe zu bringen.

Mit einer Spritzigkeit und Virtuosität, die ihresgleichen sucht, versetzte die gefeierte Künstlerin, die Meisterklassen bei Weltstars wie Lang Lang besuchte, ihre Zuhörer mit bekannten Gershwin-Songs in Entzücken. Als Sahnehäubchen kamen zwei Etüden von Chopin, spieltechnisch glänzend umgesetzt, als Zugaben obenauf.  Dass und warum die Préludes, die Debussy in den Jahren 1910 und 1913 in zwei Heften veröffentlichte, als einsame Gipfel der Klavierliteratur gelten, machte Katie Mahan mir jedem der zwölf kleinen, charakterlich völlig unterschiedlichen Stücke aus dem zweiten Buch deutlich. Unter Ausnutzung sämtlicher Klangmittel und Nuancen, extremer Lagen der Klaviatur, feinster Zwischentöne und vager bildhafter Assoziationen eröffnete die junge Amerikanerin ihren Zuhören Zugang zur Musik Debussys, die weniger das Gefühl, mehr den Intellekt anspricht.  Sehr traurige Stücke wie “Feuilles mortes” nach einer Illustration des englischen Malers Arthur Rackham – betörend zart umgesetzt – und zirzensische Stücke wir “Général Lavine – excentrique”, von einem amerikanischen Clown mit marionetten haftem Gang inspiriert, meisterte sie hoch virtuos, mit scheinbar spielerisch leichter Hand. 

Vollends in ihrem Element war Katie Mahan bei George Gershwin, dessen Songs “Our love is here to stay” und “I got rhythm” sie in eigenen Arrangements vorstellte.  Vor allem, bei “I got rhythm” dem vielleicht meist gespielten Jazz-Standard aller Zeiten, flogen die Finger nur so über die schwarz-weißen Tasten. Vorbildlich, mit einer Verneigung vor Gershwin und seiner Musik schloss sich den Kreis.” (Monika Salzmann)

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

“In Robert Schumanns Fantasie C-Dur op. 17 kamen Bedeutung und musikalischer Stil einer ganzen Epoche zusammen. In der Darbietung durch eine so herausragende Pianistin wie Katie Mahan, bleibt dem Zuhörer nur sich in sich selber zu versenken, zu bewundern und zuzuhören.”

“Katie Mahan is a daring and innovative performer; her rendition of Chopin’s Piano Sonata Op. 35 and of Wagner/Liszt’s Liebestod was the musical equivalent of blinding light illuminating vast, scary spaces that are not for the faint of heart to venture into. Always in command of the relationship between sound and space, and never afraid to explore new roads in what many consider old territory, this young artist proves just how strong the impact of piano music can be; she can tear from the piano an anguished and truly grand singing sound, as well as abandon herself to joyful lightness and speed without fear. She was a most welcome guest of our Cultural Events series and thoroughly inspired our students.”

  • Fabio Parrini, Professor of Music, Cline School of Music, North Greenville University

“It was a great pleasure to work with pianist Katie Mahan who performed the Beethoven 4th Concerto with the Wiener Residenz Orchester at the Festival Concerts series in Vienna. Both elegant and exciting, she is a masterful pianist who knows how to balance poetry against intensity and rhythmic drive. Katie Mahan is a fresh and compelling artist to grace the concert stage, and a clear audience favorite.”

  • Robert Ward, PianoFest Austria Director

Berkshire Fine Arts (NYC)

“Katie Mahan gave a dramatic and emotional performance in the Brahms 2nd Piano Concerto. Beginning with an unusual horn solo played by David Wallace, Mahan, with the flourishes of a diva, began her cadenza followed by a wild concoction of stormy melodies. In quieter sections of the Concerto she displayed an interpretive sensitivity. Many young performers today provide a passionate display contemporary audiences expect as they arrive from the rock world. Mahan does not use her star dramatic turn to cover inadequacies, but rather to highlight her singular skills.”

Colorado Springs Gazette

“Up and coming Denver pianist Katie Mahan ascended I-25 to tackle Chopin’s 1st Piano Concerto. There was hardly a note missed in all three movements. The slow movement was the highlight of the performance…Mahan exulted in capturing every detail and more than a little nuance. She and the orchestra were one voice throughout.”

French pianist Pascal Rogé

“A young pianist with a great talent and a great future who impressed me immensely with her rare musical talent and also with her very interesting musical personality; her interpretations are always original and personal.”

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

“In Robert Schumann’s Fantasie in C major op. 17…the sense and musical style of an entire period came together. When presented by an excellent pianist such as Katie Mahan, the listener is left to immerse himself, admire, and listen.”

Rocky Mountain News

“What amazed the listener most was the striking dynamic range…a pianissimo of the most tender poetry to a fortissimo of thunderous passion. An exquisite and memorable performance which was both soulful and powerful, and of great artistic understanding.”

Maestra Marin Alsop, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

“A pianist in the style of Clara Schumann”

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

“All in all a pleasure which one would like to have more often.”

Neue Ruhr Zeitung

“Well rounded, wonderfully successful were in particular the tones, melodies, and harmonies by Katie Mahan, rarely does one hear the bass tones played like this. Numerous nuances of sound…sometimes strong, sometimes astoundingly tender and intimate, surrounded and seduced the audience.”

Cheyenne Post

“Katie Mahan is a musician whose performances are both elegant and thoughtful, stylish and deep. Even in repertoire that tempts some pianists to play with excess or poor taste, she shows thoughtful, refined playing that can still bring the audience to its feet. Her performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra showed just the right combination of faithfulness to the score and stylistic license. Her playing made this familiar work seem fresh: the music soared, sung, swooned, and swung. Her stage presence showed flair, and her beauty charmed many; yet, this young woman proved above all that she has gravitas.”

Rocky Mountain News

“One of the most outstanding talents coming up today”

Maestro Robert Lehrbaumer, Wiener Residenz Orchester

“Katie Mahan’s performance [of Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4] is convincing and impressive through her high technical ability, secure performing, tasteful use of emotions and delicate sound quality on the piano. She presents herself as an intelligent and very serious interpreter and has a good sense for stylistic skills adjusting her performance to the special character of the composers. Katie Mahan is a young artist whose appearance always will promise especially good reception both by music lovers and music experts.”

“Katie’s reading (of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4) was both thoughtful and technically assured. She was also easy to work with and approached the performance with a collegial spirit of collaboration.”

  • Maestro Michael Butterman, Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra

“I still feel profoundly ‘hypnotized’ by Ms. Mahan’s concert a week ago in Weilheim. Her performance of the Liszt b-minor sonata belongs to the rare and unforgettable moments of my 50 years’ attending over 500 piano recitals all over the world.”

  • Dr. Roland Ropers, publicist/critic (Germany)

“I have known pianist Katie Mahan for quite a while and have observed her continual interest to learn and to hone her talent indefatigably, with ever renewed thirst for self-improvement. I have always been aware of her total devotion, passion and ambition to the art of performing on the piano, and have marvelled at the rapidity with which she absorbs all teachings, making her own personal interpretation from the suggestions offered. Even though she is strikingly beautiful, she never uses this to her advantage. She has a humble fervour always putting the music before anything else. It is my opinion that Katie has all that it takes to have an international career at the highest degree.”

  • Maestro Daniel Lipton