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Piano prodigy performs in Chamber series

  • Nov 13, 2011
On Sunday, December 4, the Oregon Bach Festival and University of Oregon School of Music and Dance are pleased to welcome 17-year-old piano prodigy Conrad Tao, who will perform in a solo piano concert at 3 p.m. in Beall Concert Hall on the UO campus, 961 E. 18th Ave. Doctoral candidate Thérèse Hurley will give a pre-concert talk at 2:10 p.m. Repertoire for the concert will include Bach’s Italian Concerto in F Major; Beethoven’s Sonata No. 31, Op. 110 in A-flat Major; Stravinsky’s Trois mouvements de Pétrouchka; and two works by Liszt: Années de pèlerinage—Suisse and Rigoletto: Paraphrase de concert. Perhaps most exciting for fans of the young artist, Tao will also perform the 2010 Three Songs, his own original works. With two austere, fragmentary movements, “Cocoon” and “Smoke,” and a tense, insistent finale, “Catharsis,” the music suggests the influence most strongly of Debussy and Ravel. A “triple threat” composer-pianist-violinist, Conrad Tao has been hailed by renowned music critic Harris Goldsmith as “the most exciting prodigy to ever come my way” (Musical America). The Chinese-American pianist began playing children’s songs on the piano at 18 months of age. Born in Urbana, Illinois, Tao gave his first piano recital at age four, and at age eight, made his concerto debut performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A major. Tao has appeared as a soloist with orchestras throughout the nation and abroad, and has toured the world. As an accomplished composer, he is an eight-time consecutive winner of the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer award. Tao is currently a Gilmore Young Artist, an honor awarded every two years to single out the most promising of the new generation of U.S. pianists. In June of 2011, Conrad Tao received a medal from President Obama at the White House after being named a 2011 Presidential Scholar for the Arts in music. The concert is the third of six offerings of the 2011-12 ChamberMusic@Beall series, a collaboration of the Oregon Bach Festival and the UO School of Music and Dance. Reserved seat tickets, ranging from $17 to $37, are available in advance from the Hult Center (541-682-5000) or the UO Ticket Office (541-346-4363) of the Erb Memorial Union. Click for complete program information and to order tickets.