American pianist, Joshua Mhoon’s talent for piano was discovered at the age of 7. Quickly dedicating himself to the instrument, he advanced at an exponential rate, despite his comparatively late introduction to music. His quick progression landed him first place prizes in The DePaul National Concerto Competition, The Walgreens National Concerto Competition’s Senior and Junior divisions, The Emilio del Rosario Concerto competition, and accomplishments such as TV appearances on The Tamron Hall Show, NBC Chicago, CBS Chicago, Redbull TV, WTTW’s Chicago tonight, The Mozart on TV Asahi in Japan, along with a feature in the Emmy award winning episode of Built to Last on PBS. Mhoon has given live performances for worldwide audiences in Japan, England, France, Greece, Turkey, Austria, Spain and Italy, and several concert tours in Germany. In 2023, after winning 2nd prize at the inaugural Nina Simone Piano Competition, Mhoon catapulted to new heights in the classical music industry, with engagements domestically, and abroad for the 2024-25 season.
Mhoon’s upbringing in Chicago, shaped his musical vision, growing up in the culture of Black American Music, such as R&B, jazz, blues, hip hop, and gospel. Mhoon has had various opportunities to showcase his abilities locally in Chicago, demonstrating a sense of pride in his hometown. Mhoon had the privilege of performing at Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s inauguration, a historic event that gained thousands of viewers on television and live attendance at the city’s Wintrust Arena. Additionally, his other performances in his city include a halftime show at a Chicago Bulls game, a performance for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and China’s Vice Premier at the Harris theater; performances at the Navy Pier, Ganz Hall, The Studebaker Theater, Pritzker Pavilion, Pianoforte, and Bennett Gordon Hall at the Ravinia Festival. His radio performances became extremely popular as he played and spoke of his love of piano on popular radio shows including the Cliff Kelly Show on WVON with its mostly African American audience. As well as his popularity with larger ethnically diverse audiences appearing in multiple episodes on Chicago’s classical music station WFMT as well as Richard Steele’s program on Chicago National Public Radio’s WBEZ.
At the age of 15, Mhoon began studying at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music with the school’s renowned Director of Musical Performance, Dr. James Giles. Outside of classical music, Mhoon has also studied jazz and spontaneous creation/composition with jazz legends Willie Pickens and Steve Million. He previously studied jazz with Miles Davis’s former music director Bobby Irving III. Mhoon is also mentored by world-renowned pianist Lang Lang and principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic Anthony McGill, who made history by becoming the first black man to be first chair in a major orchestra. Recent and upcoming highlights of Mhoon’s career include performances Yo Yo-Ma, Lang Lang, Anthony McGill, and Gil Shaham at an impressive number of venues, including the Jazz at Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall, and the world famous Stern Hall of Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Chicago Symphony Hall, Alice Tully Hall, New World Symphony Center, Chicago Symphony Center, and the Musikverein.
He hopes to foster an appreciation of classical music to reach a larger demographic of people.
Mhoon is currently studying in New York City at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of world-renowned pianist Emanuel Ax and Julian Martin. Although he has pursued a few other hobbies, including photography, practicing yoga, and investing in the stock market, above all else, Mhoon loves listening, playing, and composing music. As he said in a 2016 interview with WTTW, “I definitely want to make music my life.” Now, it is clear that Joshua Mhoon is doing exactly that.