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Musical World

Conrad Tao

  • Pianist


At age 10, Conrad Tao was featured on the national radio program “From the Top” as both pianist and composer, and in 2007 he was featured again on PBS’s “From the Top - Live from Carnegie Hall” TV series as violinist, pianist and composer.Conrad’s 2006 recital at Juilliard’s Paul Hall has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today”. Conrad was the winner of Juilliard Pre-College’s Gina Bachauer Piano Competition and the Prokofiev Concerto Competition in 2006.In 2008, Conrad was named a Davidson Fellow Laureate by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, commending his efforts to make classical music relevant to the current generation.

Conrad has appeared as soloist with the Aspen Festival Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony, among many others.He has worked with maestros Christoph Eschenbach, John Giordano, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Mikhail Pletnev, Leonard Slatkin, Xian Zhang, and Jaap van Zweden, among others.He has given solo recitals in Juilliard’s Paul Hall, Rockfeller University in New York City, Chicago’s Music in the Loft concert series, Lincoln Theater in Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale's Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Martin Theater at the Ravinia Festival, the Harriman-Jewell Concert Series in Kansas City, UC Berkeley’s Cal Performance Series and venues in Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Switzerland.He has appeared at the Aspen Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival, Festival del Sole, Festival of the Arts BOCA, Miami International Piano Festival, Mostly Mozart, Singapore Sun Festival, and the Verbier Festival.In May of 2008, Conrad toured China with the Juilliard Orchestra, performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 under the baton of Xian Zhang in Beijing, Suzhou, and Shanghai.

Highlights of this coming season include recital debuts at the Gilmore Rising Star series and the Louvre in France, as well as concerto performances with the Russian National Orchestra in Moscow and the Festival of the Arts BOCA, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in Singapore, the Santa Fe ProMusica and Reno Philharmonic.

As an accomplished composer, Conrad has won national prizes since the age of 7 and his compositions have been featured on Chicago WFMT radio’s 50th anniversary program and the national radio program “From the Top.” At age 10, his piano composition, Silhouettes and Shadows, won the BMI Carlos Surinach Prize, recognizing him as the youngest winner of BMI’s prestigious award for young composers in the Western Hemisphere. Conrad is a six-time consecutive winner of the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer award since 2004 and his composition, Sonata for Two Pianos, was featured at the 2004 award ceremony and performed at the Aspen Music Festival in 2005. He has given two composition recitals in New York City featuring eleven of his original compositions.In February 2007, two new compositions, Duet for Erhu and Violin, a commissioned work by the Art Institute of Chicago, and Two Worlds for string quartet, commissioned by the Midwest Young Artists, had their world premiere at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Midwest Meets East concert.His first piano concerto, The Four Elements for Piano and Orchestra, was commissioned by the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, Ohio and premiered in October 2007.Conrad worked with ProMusica again in October 2008, composing Fanfare Pro Musica for the opening concert of the orchestra’s thirtieth season.In the 2009-2010 season, Conrad will be composer-in-residence with Chicago’s Music in the Loft concert series.

As an award-winning violinist, Conrad won the 2003 Walgreens National Concerto Competition, which led to the performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor with the Midwest Young Artists Concert Orchestra at age 8.He was a recipient of violins from the Stradivari Society for three years.Conrad is currently playing an 1899 Giulio de Gani violin, on loan to The Juilliard School from Carol Wipf, on loan to him from the Juilliard Rare Instrument Collection.

Conrad is currently enrolled in Juilliard’s Pre-College Division studying piano with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky and violin with Ms. Catherine Cho. He studies composition privately with Mr. Christopher Theofanidis in New York City. A former student at the Music Institute of Chicago, Conrad studied piano with Mr. Emilio del Rosario, violin with Ms. Desiree Ruhstrat and composition with Mr. Matthew Hagle. Conrad currently resides in New York City with his parents and sister.