The only classical musician on Forbes’ 2011 “30 Under 30” list of people changing the world, Chinese-American pianist Conrad Tao was found playing children’s songs on the piano at 18 months of age. Born in Urbana, Illinois in 1994, he gave his first piano recital at age 4; four years later, he made his concerto debut performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A Major, K. 414. In 2011, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the Department of Education named Conrad a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, while the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts awarded him a YoungArts gold medal in music. Conrad was also named a Gilmore Young Artist, an honor awarded every two years highlighting the most promising American pianists of the new generation. In 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Photo by Brantley Gutierrez