|CONRAD TAO BIO|
|Hailed by renowned music critic Harris Goldsmith as "the most exciting prodigy to ever come my way"
(Musical America), 17-year-old Chinese-American pianist Conrad Tao was found playing children's
songs on the piano at 18 months of age. Born in Urbana, Illinois, he gave his first piano recital at age 4,
and at age 8, made his concerto debut performing Mozart's Piano Concerto in A major, K. 414. Conrad is
currently a Gilmore Young Artist, an honor awarded every two years to single out the most promising of
the new generation of U.S. pianists.
In September 2011, Conrad filled in for pianist Louis Lortie and gave a solo recital on one day's notice in Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall presented by Cliburn Concerts that critics raved as being "technically brilliant" (Star-Telegram), "breathtaking" (Dallas Magazine), and a "gripping performance by turns mysterious and defiant" (Dallas Morning News).
Conrad has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, the Baltimore, Dallas, and San Francisco Symphonies, among others. He has given solo recitals at the Louvre Museum in Paris, the Ravinia Festival, the Aspen Festival, the Verbier Festival, UC Berkeley's Cal Performance Series, the Gilmore Series and has toured Italy, Mexico, Chile, Russia, China and Singapore. Highlights of Conrad's 2011-12 season include an immediate reengagement with Utah Symphony, Detroit Symphony debut, 11 concerto performances in Florida, a European recital tour including recitals in Paris, Berlin, Munich and Southampton and concerts with orchestras in Mexico, Brazil, and Poland. As an accomplished composer, Conrad is an eight-time consecutive winner of the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer award, since 2004. 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. In the 2009-2010 season, Conrad was composer-in-residence with Chicago's Music in the Loft concert series. His String Quartet No. 2, commissioned by the Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music for the Jasper Quartet, was performed throughout the US during the 2010-11 season.
As an award-winning violinist, Conrad won the 2003 Walgreens National Concerto Competition, which led to his performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor with the Midwest Young Artists Concert Orchestra at age 8.
In June, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the Department of Education named Conrad a US Presidential Scholar in the Arts and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts YoungArts program awarded him a gold medal in music. Also in June, PBS began broadcasting a Great Performances Special nationwide, 'Dream with Me' with Jackie Evancho, where Conrad appears as guest soloist on both violin and piano.
Conrad currently attends the Columbia University-Juilliard School joint degree program and studies piano with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky and Dr. Choong Mo Kang at Juilliard. He also studies composition with Mr. Christopher Theofanidis of Yale University and studied violin with Ms. Catherine Cho for five years at Juilliard's Pre-College Division.