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TAO NI was born in Beng Bu, An Hui Province, China. He began his cello studies with his father at the age of eight and a year later he was enrolled in the Shanghai Conservatory Preparatory Division, where he studied with Professor Liu Mei Juan. Tao Ni made his first visit to North America in 1996 attending summer music workshops at Indiana University (Bloomington) and the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. He came as a student to the first Morningside Music Bridge in 1997, and stayed at Mount Royal College Conservatory studying with John Kadz. His other teachers include Laurence Lesser, Timothy Eddy, and most recent, Ronald Leonard at the Colburn School. Tao was also a participant in various festivals including Meadowmount, Ravinia Festival (Steans Institute for Young Artists), and the New York String Seminar in Carnegie Hall.
Ni has had much success in competitions, including winning the Johannsen String Competition, the Pasadena Showcase Competition, the Hudson Valley Competition, and the New England Conservatory Concerto Competition, as well as getting top prizes at the Tchaikovsky Competition for young musicians, the Kingsville Competition, the Klein String Competition, the Corpus Christi Concerto Competition, and the Hams Competition.
He has soloed with many orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Arlington Symphony, the Brockton Symphony, the Concord Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Sendai Orchestra, the Shanghai Opera, the Colburn Orchestra, and the Calgary Youth Orchestra, among many others. As an experienced chamber musician, Ni has collaborated with such artists as Itzhak Perlman, Joseph Silverstein, Ani Kavafian, Anton Kuerti, Kim Kashkashian, James Dunham, Donald Weilerstein, Frank Cohen, Miriam Fried, and Robert Chan.
Other performing highlights include playing for Jiang Zemin, the President of China, in Calgary; playing in recital at The Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.; being featured in a national CBC radio broadcast as part of the Mount Royal College 90th Anniversary Series; and performing a hip-hop arrangement of Vivaldi’s A-minor Cello Concerto with members of the Boston University Orchestra. He was featured in Canada’s National Post newspaper as a “Leader of Tomorrow.”
Tao Ni was previously a member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In March 2012 he became Associate Principal Cello of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.