Monday, January 12, 2009

If you are free tonight check this out at the Newmark Theater

Conrad Tao plays one more night at the Newmark. This remarkabe 14-year-old pianist wowed the audience last evening when he substituted for Polina Leschenko at Portland Piano International's concert at the Newmark.

From the program notes:

Born in Urbana, Illinois, Conrad Tao showed an interest in music at an early age, playing children's songs on the piano before he was two. He started violin lessons at age three and formal piano lessons soon after that. By the time he was eight, he had debuted with the Utah Chamber Music Festival Orchestra, performing Mozart's Piano Concerto in A Major, K. 414. He was featured on NPR's From the Top and on PBS's television program From the Top - Live from Carnegie Hall in September 2006. His recitals have been featured on NPR's Performance Today. In 2008 Conrad was named a Davidson Fellow Laureate by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development.

Conrad has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and the Russian National Orchestra, and given recitals at Juilliard's Paul Hall, Rockefeller University in New York City, Chicago's Music in the Loft concert series, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the National Center for the Arts in Mexico City, and the Mostly Mozart Festival (a pre-concert recital) in New York. In future seasons, Conrad will debut with the Symphony of the Americas, the Lexington Philharmonic, Santa Fe Pro Musica, and the Fort Worth Symphony under Miguel Harth-Bedoya, and will return to perform with the Columbus ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and the California Symphony. He also makes recital debuts at the Harriman-Jewell Concert Series in Kansas City, the Cal Performance Series at Berkeley, the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, and the Louvre in France.

Conrad's compositions were featured on Chicago's WFMT and NPR's From the Top. Silhouettes and Shadows for piano won the BMI Carlos Surinach Prize when Conrad was ten. He has won the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer award every year since 2004, and his Sonata for Two Pianos was featured at the 2004 award ceremony. In 2007, his Duet for Erhu and Violin (commissioned by the Art Institute of Chicago), and his "two worlds" string quartet premiered at the Art Institute'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 2007.

Conrad is enrolled in Juilliard's Pre-College Division and studies piano with Yoheved Kaplinsky. He studies composition with Christopher Theofanidis in New York City. He was a student at the Music Institute of Chicago, where he studied with Emilio del Rosario and Matthew Hagle. Conrad currently resides in New York City with his parents and sister.

Program (Conrad wrote the program notes.)

Beethoven • Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata"
Tao • Fantasy-Sonata
Corigliano • Etude Fantasy
Rachmaninoff • Six Moments Musicaux, Op. 16
Chopin • Andante spianato et Grande Polonaise brillante, Op. 22

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