Conrad made his Grant Park debut this past weekend in Chicago (near his hometown of Urbana), to critical acclaim – see below for more!
“Tao, a young native of Urbana making his Grant Park debut, played with bristling intensity but, as importantly, with a delicately varied touch in quiet, more sinuous passages. Kalmar, who seldom is neutral in showpieces, had the orchestra dig in fervently, again making the concerto a crowd-pleasing favorite.”
“It takes a personality-plus pianist with a fearless technique to make a compelling case for this second-rate music and Conrad Tao did that and more Friday night. The American pianist attacked the outer movements with unbridled bravado, his jumpy intensity providing a quirky sensibility to the music while maintaining amazing digital accuracy.”