About Conrad Tao
Conrad Tao emerged as a very impressive young performer and composer in the first decade of the 20th century, becoming the only classical musician on Forbes magazine's 2011 "30 Under 30" list of people who just might change the world. Aside from being a noted performer and composer, Tao is also the founder of New York's UNPLAY Festival.
Tao was born in Urbana, Illinois, on June 11, 1994. He began playing piano at a very young age, with a public performance of Mozart's Concerto No. 12 at the age of eight, but he also took up the violin, which he studied in Juilliard's pre-college division. He self-released an album of piano music recorded at the Verbier Festival in 2008. By 2012, he had received recognition as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, been named a Gilmore Young Artist, and awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. That same year, he also released an album of Mozart concertos with Santa Fe Pro Musica, and his first recording as an EMI Classics artist, a digital exclusive featuring music by Debussy, Stravinsky, and his own works. In fact, between 2004 and 2011, Tao had won eight ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. He began a joint degree program at Columbia and Juilliard, studying both piano and composition, but still performed on both violin and piano. He was heard on both instruments on Jackie Evancho's Dream with Me television special, and more than once played both the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and Piano Concerto in the same concert. In 2013, Tao was commissioned by the Hong Kong Philharmonic to compose a piece for China Day and the orchestra's new season under Jaap van Zweden, and by the Dallas Symphony, to observe the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. Also in 2013, Tao opened the UNPLAY Festival at the powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn; this festival features Tao and guests performing new works, as well as performances by a variety of other ensembles. He has toured throughout Europe, Asia, South America, and performed all five Beethoven piano concertos in the U.S.
Tao's second EMI recording Voyages, with his piano music along with that of Rachmaninov and Ravel, was released in 2013, followed by Pictures in 2015 and American Rage in 2019. ~ Patsy Morita