Nicholas McCarthy, 23, from Surrey, England, was born without his right hand.
"I don't go around thinking of these milestones, but when my teacher rang me up and said, 'You've made history', that felt good," he told the Telegraph.
As a young child, McCarthy taught himself to play on a cheap electric keyboard.
"I had never experienced anything that came so naturally. I found I could play a one-note melody accurately with my little arm — although anything with big chords was out of the question. I practised for hours and hours. Time just disappeared," he told the DailyMail.
He started taking piano lessons at the age of 14 and was quickly met with opposition, being denied an audition at a music school.
"It was soul-crushing because that's all I wanted to do," he told the BBC. "I could feel it would be an uphill struggle, but it made me more determined. I'm quite a stubborn character."
McCarthy plays pieces written specifically for the left hand, including works by Ravel, Prokofiev, Bartok and Austrian composer Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm in WWI.
"There is a lifetime's worth of work available. There are more challenges than for a two-handed pianist because you have to cover the whole piano," McCarthy told the DailyMail. "It does sound like there are two hands playing."
"There are people in my position having counselling, and I just think, 'Please get over it and make something of yourself.' You can turn it into an advantage," he told the Telegraph.
Among the young pianist's accomplishments are an album, the International AMI Award for creative excellence in music, and a recent performance in the offices of the prime minister of Malta.
McCarthy is also a member of the British Paraorchestra, Britain's first disabled orchestra, which welcomed paralympic athletes to London last month.
"When I first joined the orchestra, a couple of the musicians who are partially sighted and blind didn't believe I was playing with one hand, that was a big compliment to me," he told the BBC.
"The music is all written for the left hand alone, I'm not changing anything, I'm playing the music as it was written. It's written very cleverly, but you've got to be very quick and good with the pedalling to sustain the bass notes while playing the top notes."
McCarthy's College of Music professor Vanessa Latarche calls her pupil "incredibly enterprising," citing the incredible stamina required to perform a 50-minute recital with one arm.
McCarthy's dreams for the future include playing at Carnegie Hall in New York and signing a record deal.
"I'm happy to wait for those," he said. "Things like that will come along when it's meant to be...If you believe in yourself, anything is possible."