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Dubbed a musician of "probing intellect and open-hearted vision" by the New York Times, Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer. In June of 2011, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the Department of Education named Conrad a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts awarded him a YoungArts gold medal in music. Later that year, Conrad was named a Gilmore Young Artist, an honor awarded every two years highlighting the most promising American pianists of the new generation. In May of 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. During the 2014-2015 season, Conrad continues his formidable globe-trotting career as a pianist, with performances with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, and the Toronto Symphony, among others. In Europe, he will be returning to perform with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm, and the Bern Symphony in Switzerland. He also performs recitals in Europe and throughout the United States with repertoire ranging from Bach to Toru Takemitsu to Julia Wolfe. On his 19th birthday in June of 2013, Conrad kicked off the inaugural UNPLAY Festival at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, which he

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Dubbed a musician of "probing intellect and open-hearted vision" by the New York Times, Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer. In June of 2011, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the Department of Education named Conrad a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts awarded him a YoungArts gold medal in music. Later that year, Conrad was named a Gilmore Young Artist, an honor awarded every two years highlighting the most promising American pianists of the new generation. In May of 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher
Career Grant.

During the 2014-2015 season, Conrad continues his formidable globe-trotting career as a pianist, with performances with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, and the Toronto Symphony, among others. In Europe, he will be returning to perform with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm, and the Bern Symphony in Switzerland. He also performs recitals in Europe and throughout the United States with repertoire ranging from Bach to Toru Takemitsu to Julia Wolfe.

On his 19th birthday in June of 2013, Conrad kicked off the inaugural UNPLAY Festival at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, which he curated and produced. The festival, designated a "critics' pick" by Time Out New York and hailed by the New York Times for its "clever organization" and "endlessly engaging" performances, featured Conrad with guest artists performing a wide variety of new works. Across three nights encompassing electroacoustic music, performance art, youth ensembles, and much more, UNPLAY explored the fleeting
ephemera of the Internet, the possibility of a 21st-century canon, and music's role in social activism and critique. That month, Conrad, a Warner Classics recording artist, also released Voyages, his first full-length for the label, declared a “spiky debut” by the New Yorker’s Alex Ross. Of the album, NPR wrote: "Tao proves himself to be a musician of deep intellectual and emotional means – as the thoughtful programming on this album...proclaims."

In November 2013, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra premiered Conrad's new orchestral composition, "The World Is Very Different Now", commissioned in observance of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. This work is the latest in his accomplished career as a composer, which has featured eight consecutive ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, the Carlos Surinach Prize from BMI, and an oeuvre that already includes everything from symphonic music to string quartets to electroacoustic work to
popular music.

Conrad was born in Urbana, Illinois, in 1994. He currently attends the Columbia University/Juilliard School joint degree program and studies piano with Professors Yoheved Kaplinsky and Choong Mo Kang at Juilliard. He studies composition with Christopher Theofanidis.

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Reviews

"“The World Is Very Different Now” proved shapely and powerful, especially in its haunting, accepting if not optimistic coda. At 19, Mr. Tao knows his way around a large orchestra (here including scrap metal as percussion) as well as many an elder master."

The New York Times by James R. Oestreich

"Tao’s playing was almost startling in its clarity of sound and purpose... His talent is almost beyond belief"

Ottawa Citizen by Richard Todd

"Tao is a composer-pianist, blessed with prodigal performing skill and compositional imagination."

The Independent by Andy Gill

"Unlike many classical prodigies of similarly and stupendously young ages, Tao proves himself to be a musician of deep intellectual and emotional means... on Voyages, the pianist journeys along varied and alluring pathways, from the dreamy contemplation of the Ravel "Ondine (Wave)" movement to the jaggedly darting upon being section from his vestiges. His playing is strong and sure, and the effect is transcendent and beautiful."

NPR First Listen by Anastasia Tsioulcas

"At 17, the musician Conrad Tao is already impressively accomplished.That Mr. Tao, who gave his first recital at 4, is hugely gifted was evident from the outset. He opened with a cleanly articulated, fluid and fleet rendition of Bach’s “Italian” Concerto. He played the slow second movement with poise and feeling. His impressive technique allows him to navigate difficult works with ease; the finale of Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata unfolded in an exciting blaze of notes. He brought lovely colors and poetic nuances to three works by Liszt: “Au bord d’une Source,” “Vallée d’Obermann” and the “Rigoletto” Paraphrase.The program concluded with Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 7. Mr. Tao spoke eloquently about the work and played it with fiery panache."

The New York Times

"Ferociously talented…anyone who has heard Conrad Tao, either in recital or on his newly released CD, Voyages, won’t have any trouble understanding how this bright young pianist and composer has racked up serious accolades."

The New York Times

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Discography