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Conrad Tao (Piano soloist)

13-year-old pianist, composer, and violinist Conrad Tao was born in Urbana, Illinois. He showed an interest in music very early, playing children’s songs on the piano at about 18 months of age. Conrad started violin lessons at age 3, piano lessons at 3 1/2, gave his first public piano recital at age 4, and his first major recital at the World Piano Pedagogy Conference at age 7. At age 8, he made his concerto debut with the Utah Chamber Music Festival Orchestra performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A major, K414. Two years later, Conrad was featured on the national radio program From the Top as both pianist and composer, and he was featured a second time as violinist, pianist and composer in 2007, when the program moved to national television as From the Top - Live from Carnegie Hall. Conrad’s recital performance has been featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today.

Concerto performances include appearances with the Aspen Festival Orchestra under the direction of Leonard Slatkin, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in Carnegie Hall, the Russian National Orchestra, Miami International Piano Festival Orchestra, and Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra, among others. He has given solo recitals in New York, Chicago, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale and made his debut in Italy last summer, resulting in an immediate return engagement in December. Upcoming engagements include debuts with The Philadelphia Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach, and with the San Francisco Symphony, a recital at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, and return engagements with the Russian National Orchestra and in Italy. Conrad is the winner of Juilliard Pre-College’s Gina Bachauer Piano Competition and the Prokofiev Concerto Competition in 2006.

As an accomplished composer, Conrad has won national prizes since the age of 7 and at age 10, his piano composition, Silhouettes and Shadows, won the BMI Carlos Surinach Prize, making him the youngest winner of BMI’s most prestigious award for young composers in the Western Hemisphere. Conrad is a four-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. He has given two composition recitals in New York City featuring eleven of his original works. In February 2007, his new compositions, Duet for Erhu and Violin, a commissioned work by the Art Institute of Chicago and his string quartet Two Worlds, 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 also is an award-winning violinist, garnering 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. This past January, he performed both the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor and the Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor in one concert with the Miami Piano Festival Orchestra.. He was a recipient of violins from the Stradivari Society for three years and currently plays an 1899 Giulio de Gani violin, on loan to The Juilliard School’s Rare Instrument Collection from Carol Wipf, and made available to him by Juilliard.

Conrad currently resides in New York City with his parents and sister and is 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 previously studied piano with Mr. Emilio del Rosario, violin with Ms. Desiree Ruhstrat, and composition with Mr. Matthew Hagle.

May 20, 2008

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