Opening Night with Conrad Tao
Hector Guzman, Conductor
Conrad Tao, Piano
Hector Guzman and the Plano Symphony Orchestra kick off the 35th Anniversary celebration with rousing fireworks by Dvorak, followed by a return to a favorite audience practice of two concertos in one evening. Liszt's Totentanz is known in part for its innovations -- from repeated notes in the piano to special effects in the orchestra. Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 1 rewarded the composer with the Anton Rubinstein Prize for pianistic accomplishments at a performance of the one-movement work at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. The performance concludes with Rachmaninoff's romantic Symphony No. 2, one of his best known compositions.
Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer, and has been dubbed a musician of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” by the New York Times, a “thoughtful and mature composer” by NPR, and “ferociously talented” by TimeOut New York. In June of 2011, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the Department of Education named Tao a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts awarded him a YoungArts gold medal in music. Later that year, Tao was named a Gilmore Young Artist, an honor awarded every two years highlighting the most promising American pianists of the new generation. In May of 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.