Music in the Loft - Artist's Bio

Conrad Tao, piano, composer

Conrad Tao
Born in Urbana, Illinois, 12-year-old Conrad Tao showed his interests in music at a very early age, when he was found playing children’s songs on the piano at about 18 months of age. He has been featured on many TV programs and newspaper articles for his extraordinary musical talents since the age of 5, including Chicago ABC’s special news program “Baby Brainpower”, Chicago public TV channel 11’s “ArtBeat”, Sony Pictures “Life & Style”, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Washington Post.

Conrad started formal piano lessons at age 3 and gave his first public piano recital at age 4, and performed a recital at the World Piano Pedagogy Conference in Orlando, Florida at the age of 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. At age 10, Conrad was featured on the national radio program “From the Top” as both pianist and composer, and he will be featured again on the first season of “From the Top” TV program as violinist, pianist and composer at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in September 2006. Conrad made his recital debut at the Miami International Piano Festival in March 2005 in their “Prodigies and Masters of Tomorrow” concert series and was immediately invited back to give another recital in May 2005 in their “Discovery Series”. In July 2005, Conrad performed his own “Sonata for two pianos” with fellow pianist Peng-Peng Gong at the Harris Concert Hall of the Aspen Music Festival to critical acclaim. Highlights of his 2005-2006 season are debuts at Carnegie Hall’s family concert series at Carnegie’s Stern Auditorium with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and at the Aspen Music Festival’s Benedict Music Tent with the Aspen Festival Orchestra under the direction of Leonard Slatkin. He also soloed with the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra under the direction of John Giordano and gave recitals in Chicago for the “Music in the Loft” concert Series and a violin recital in New York honoring Maestro Ruggiero Ricci. In the upcoming 2006-2007 season, Conrad will be soloing with the California Symphony, the Pennsylvania Sinfonia, and a String Orchestra in Chicago, and giving recitals in New York and Miami, including a performance in Carnegie’s Weil Recital Hall.

As an accomplished composer, his compositions have won national prizes and 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 as the youngest winner of BMI’s prestigious award for young composers in the Western Hemisphere. Conrad is a winner of the 2004, 2005 and 2006 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer awards and his “Sonata for two pianos” was featured at the 2004 award ceremony. He has given two composition recitals in New York City featuring 11 of his original compositions. In February 2006, his new composition, “Duet for Erhu and Violin” will have its world premier at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Midwest Meets East concert series. Conrad is also an award-winning violinist. He 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 is a recipient of the Stradivari Society violin for the past three years and is currently playing a 7/8 size Gagliano from 1750.

Conrad is currently enrolled in the Juilliard pre-college division studying piano with Ms. Yoheved Kaplinsky and violin with Ms. Catherine Cho. Conrad studies composition privately with Mr. Christopher Theofanidis, a faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory and the Juilliard School. For the past three summers, Conrad has been a student at the Aspen Music Festival and School studying both piano and violin. This summer, he studied piano with Yoheved Kaplinsky and violin with Paul Kantor. Conrad has been the youngest member of the Aspen Festival Orchestra playing violin for the past three summers. 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 for four years. Conrad currently resides in New York City with his parents and sister, and he is a seventh grader at the Professional Children’s School.

Visit Conrad Tao's website for further information

This biography was most recently edited by...
cpthree - 13 Oct 2009