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Barry Tan

Remarked in the Boston Globe for his "mesmerizing performance", Canadian pianist Barry Tan is enjoying a career as an active soloist, collaborative artist, and educator in Los Angeles, California. Most recently, Barry was a prize winner at the Vancouver International Music Competition, winning the prize for the Best Overall Performance of a Canadian work. He has performed as soloist with the University of Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, Harmonia Chamber Orchestra, University of Southern California Symphony Orchestra, and the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra.

In demand as a collaborative pianist in recitals, concerts, and recordings, Barry's collaborative work has led him to various performances and recordings with instrumentalists, choral groups, and singers. Most recent performances include: collaborating with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; serving as one of the official pianists for the 2021 Primrose International Viola Competition; and sitting on staff as a collaborative pianist for the Collinsworth School of Music at California Baptist University, in Riverside, CA, and at the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles. Barry will also be serving on staff as a Collaborative Pianist at the Interlochen Academy of the Arts for the summer of 2022.

In addition to maintaining a private group of piano students, Barry served as a Studio Teaching Assistant to the Keyboard Studies Department at the USC Thornton School of Music where his duties included: teaching group piano to non-majors, private instruction to piano majors at the undergraduate and graduate level, and performing administrative duties as an Applied Coordinator. His pedagogy expertise has been presented at the Florida State Music Teachers Conference, the California Association of Professional Music Teachers, and the MTNA National Collegiate Conference.


In recent seasons, highlights included solo and collaborative performances throughout Los Angeles, Vancouver, Victoria, Montana, Salt Spring Island, and in Masachuessetts at the Tanglewood Music Festival- where he was given the opportunity to work and study with world reknowned artists such as Emmanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, and Yo-Yo Ma.

Barry has also participated in various other music festivals throughout North America and Europe, including: Montecito (Southern California), Young Artist Program at the National Arts Center (Ottawa), Victoria Summer Music Academy (BC), Mozarteum Academy (Salzburg), a Fall Residency at the Banff Arts Centre (Alberta), and the Orford Musique Academie (Quebec). He is funded by various grants and scholarships throughout North America, and most recently was awarded twice, as a recipient of the BC Arts Council Scholarship.

Previously, Barry studied at McGill University, Schulich School of Music, under full scholarship, and also at the University of Victoria, where he was awarded the President's Scholarship, and graduated with distinction. In 2017-2018, Barry worked as the Artistic Director at Place Des Arts’ Piano Chamber Music Program in Coquitlam, BC. He mentored several piano trio and 2-piano ensembles for recitals, local festivals, competitions, and engagements in community events throughout the school. Barry is currently pursuing Doctoral Studies at the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles. His solo and collaborative teachers include: Stewart Gordon, Kevin Fitz-Gerald, and Jeffrey Kahane. Previous teachers included May Ling Kwok, Ilya Poletaev, and Jane Coop.

As an active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Collegiate Chapter, Barry has served as President for the past two years at USC. He has also contributed articles to two volumes of e-journals, CAPMT Connect, for the California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT). In 2021, Barry launched a faculty discussion series through the MTNA USC Collegiate Chapter, giving students and other faculty members a chance to collaborate and work with each other.

Throughout the pandemic, and in his spare time, Barry enjoys exploring new neighbourhoods in Los Angeles, film photography, watching A24 movies, and producing contemporary beats on Logic Pro X.

Please conatct Barry for lessons or engagements, at barrytan[at]usc[dot]edu, or fill out this form.

Collegiate, Academic record

Update, March 2022