Celebrated young classical pianist to perform at UD Sunday

Credit: Chris McGuire

Credit: Chris McGuire

Like many musicians, Maxim Lando entered 2020 with big plans. The 20-year-old classical pianist, performing in a University of Dayton ArtsLIVE Vanguard Legacy concert in UD’s Sears Recital Hall on Sunday, Feb. 26, was graduating high school. He had a gap year planned before attending The Juilliard School and a full slate of concerts. Then, the coronavirus changed everything.

“The momentum was kicking in before the pandemic,” Lando said. “I had something like 80 concerts that were purely canceled. Then, the rest of them were all rescheduled online. I was so disappointed, but it was actually perfect timing because the pandemic shutdown happened right when my gap year started. To go to college in a worldwide pandemic wouldn’t be the greatest experience so it ended up working out well. When everything shut down, it was an opportunity to buckle down and really focus in on the pieces I always wanted to play and that I haven’t gotten around to. I did different experiments I thought of, which was great.”



Classical expansion

Lando, whose parents run a music conservatory, was already displaying outsized talent as a preschooler. At 6, he performed in the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players series in New York City. The Long Island native spent six years in Juilliard’s pre-college program and is an alumnus of the Lang Lang International Foundation Young Scholars program. At 16, Lando won First Prize at the 2018 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. In 2022, he received the first prize from both the New York Franz Liszt International Competition and the Vendome Prize.

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As someone who began honing his classical skills at an early age, Lando used quarantine to expand his musical horizons.

“I was really grateful to have that kind of time,” he said. “Instead of running around and playing standard rep from one place to the next, I used the time to dive outside my comfort zone in terms of musical genres. I really tried to experiment a lot more with jazz music and I got totally sucked into that world. I even tried to come up with some pop songs and stuff like that. I wasn’t trying to get out of the bubble of the classical world. I wanted to borrow traits from the other genres and use it in different ways in classical music. I’ve always believed wholeheartedly there is a marriage between all these styles. It has always been my dream to make them more inclusive and less distanced from each other.”



Back on stage

Lando, who is now in his second year of undergraduate studies at Juilliard, is balancing his studies with a busy performance schedule.

“It’s definitely a challenge a lot of times,” he said. “The only thing you can really do is hope you have a teacher that understands. My piano teacher never has any issues. I’ve been with him for so many years but it’s all the academic teachers. If you miss so many classes that you’re far behind, sometimes that’s a little difficult. Some are willing to not necessarily accommodate you but work on it with you and come up with system that balances it out. I’ve been lucky it has worked out so far.”

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This year, Lando has already done a two-night stint with the Cape Symphony in Hyannis, Massachusetts, and solo concerts in Florida, specifically Sanibel Island and Jacksonville. On Feb. 23, he presented a solo concert in Wetzikon, Switzerland. For Lando, that means learning new pieces and revisiting older works while balancing his studies.

“My biggest problem is I want to change the program for concerts so often,” he said. “I don’t think it’s possible to get bored of playing such great rep but at the same time there’s that feeling of trying to make it new every time. No matter what you do, even if you play the same pieces for different concerts, it’s always going to have that feeling, but I want the concerts to be fresh. This season pretty much every concert is different, which is a lot of fun. You can’t beat that feeling of playing for a live audience.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or donthrasher100@gmail.com.


What: University of Dayton’s ArtsLIVE presents a Vanguard Legacy Concert with Maxim Lando

Where: University of Dayton, Sears Recital Hall, Jesse Philips Humanities Center, 300 College Park, Dayton

When: 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26

Cost: Free for UD students, $18 general admission, $15 seniors 60 and older and UD alumni, $10 UD employees and retirees, $5 youth and students younger than 21

More info: 937-229-2545 or udayton.edu

Artist info: maximlando.com

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