Named one of Canada’s “hot classical musicians under 30” by CBC Music, 24-year-old Tristan Teo began playing the piano when he was three. Since his orchestral debut with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at age eleven, he has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Gulf Coast Symphony, among others. As a performer with a passion for teaching, he has strongly advocated for bringing music education from the studio to the concert hall, impressing audiences with the honesty and sincerity of his performances as well as his ease with speaking from the stage.
Tristan is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in the C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellows Program at The Juilliard School. Under the guidance of Steven Laitz, he is completing his doctoral dissertation on the Ukrainian jazz composer Nikolai Kapustin, whose music he was introduced to at a young age and has since championed. Tristan also holds both a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from Juilliard, during which he graduated from its selective accelerated dual-degree program. In 2015, he won the Gina Bachauer Piano Competition at Juilliard and has received numerous accolades at many international piano competitions, including the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
Tristan has given solo concerts in the United States, as well as in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Lithuania, in venues such as Salle Cortot in Paris, McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California, and Alice Tully Hall in New York. He has also been a featured artist on radio stations such as CBC Radio Canada and WQXR New York, where he performed to a sold-out audience at The Greene Space. In the spring of 2017, he gave a solo recital and a master class for the Young Pianists Series in Knoxville, Tennessee. Recent engagements have included solo recitals at the Aurora Cultural Center in Toronto, Canada, The Harvard Club in New York, and the South Orange Performing Arts Center in New Jersey. Last year during the Covid-19 pandemic, he recorded a virtual solo concert for the Vancouver Recital Society at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.
From 2015 to 2018, Tristan was a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship. Since 2016, he has held teaching positions at Juilliard in music theory as well as keyboard sight-reading and secondary piano. In 2019, he was appointed adjunct faculty to the music theory department, the youngest ever to be awarded such a position. In 2018 and 2019, he was invited to be an artist in residence at pianoSonoma, a summer music festival where he coached pianists and other instrumentalists in guided rehearsals as well as performed with them in master classes and community concerts. His principal teachers have included Sasha Starcevich, Jerome Lowenthal, and Yoheved Kaplinsky. Tristan also has a keen interest in composing and conducting. In addition to studying conducting with maestro Jeffrey Milarsky, Tristan has written works under the guidance of composer Philip Lasser, including pieces for violin-piano duo, chamber orchestra, and percussion ensemble, all of which have been performed in concerts at Juilliard. In his spare time, Tristan enjoys cooking, playing video games, and watching movies.