conrad tao

Poetry & Fairy Tale

Conrad Tao
Friday, January 19, 2024 at 8PM
EMPAC Concert Hall

The kind of musician who is shaping the future of classical music
—New York Magazine

In a new program inspired by the themes of poetry and fairy tale, trailblazing pianist and composer Conrad Tao combines repertoire from the Western canon as well as provocative contemporary works which showcases his sensitive artistry and performative dynamism in the EMPAC Concert Hall.

Bernadette Mayers contemplates the idea of poetry in the opening of her work Leg of Lamb: “A line/Break could reflect/The way the sun breaks/Through the clouds or breakfast…” For Mayer, the subject of poetic form itself becomes a prism through which words may scatter and recombine meaning and affect.

Likewise, Tao–known for his rigorously assembled and thoughtful juxtaposition of old and new work–collects pieces by Johannes Brahms, Todd Moellenberg, David Fulmer, Rebecca Saunders, and Maurice Ravel to evoke fresh thematic, formal, and emotional revelation.

Moellenberg’s Leg of Lamb (after Bernadette Mayer) (2020) plays against the lyrical introspection of Brahms’s Klavierstücke Op. 118 while a new work by David Fulmer, I have loved a stream and a shadow (With glitter of sun-rays, Nor with stars stretched, nor looking back to heaven…) (2023) luxuriates in musical line and rhythmic freedom. London-born composer Saunders’ enigmatic Mirror, mirror on the wall (1994) and Ravel’s fiercely virtuosic Gaspard de la nuit (a suite of pieces after poet Aloysius Bertrand) find beauty and richness amidst the vastness of myth.

Conrad Tao is a leader of the new generation of classical music. Dubbed an artist of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” by The New York Times, the pianist and composer has amassed a steady stream of awards and critical acclaim for his performances, compositions, and recordings.

Main Image: Conrad Tao, Tao at the Gilmore Festival, 2022. Courtesy of Opus 3 Artists. Photo: Chris McGuire.

Dates + Tickets

Poetry & Fairy Tale
Conrad Tao
Friday 19
8:00 PM
January 2024
$20 / $15 / RPI Students: in advance $6, same day FREE
Presented By

EMPAC Spring 2024

Event Type