Only 18 years old, Conrad Tao has astonished critics and audiences alike with his innate ability to breathe extraordinary life into a variety of classical pieces. The only musician to appear on Forbes’ prestigious 2011 “30 under 30” list of young people changing the world, Tao is arguably the foremost pianist in the United States today. Already touring the globe and amassing dozens of awards, Conrad Tao is an artist to keep your eye on.
Born in Urbana, Illinois, Conrad Tao displayed remarkable musical abilities before he could even walk. At the age of 18 months, Conrad was discovered playing children’s songs on the piano with no evidence of formal training. The young prodigy developed his talents further, giving his first piano recital at the age of 4, and debuting in his first concerto at age 8, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A Major. Now attending Columbia University and Juilliard School, Conrad Tao has received an incredible amount of attention around the world. Tao appeared as a soloist in the United States with the Russian National Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Philadelphia Orchestra. He’s toured Europe extensively, performing solo concerts everywhere from Berlin to London. He’s continued his global tour, performing with orchestras on almost every continent. In 2012, Conrad was celebrated for his performance of Saint-Saens’ Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
At such a young age, Conrad Tao has managed to receive more awards than most people do in a life time. In 2011, the young pianist was named a Presidential Scholar of the Arts and received a YoungArts gold medal in music from the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts. Additionally, he was named a Gilmore Young Artist, an honor only awarded every 2 years to the most promising American pianists of the generation. As a composer, Tao has won 8 consecutive ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards since 2004. His compositions have been in high demand, drawing the attention of high profile orchestras such as the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Conrad Tao has been asked to compose a piece commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy as well, which is planned to be debuted this year.