Originally from Taiwan, Yu-Chi Tai is Steinway Ensemble Artist and former Piano Professor at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She made her first orchestral debut at age 14 with the Tainan City Youth Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan, performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15. Since then, she has won numerous international competitions and appeared in many concerts, including the Bronze Medal of the Evgeny V. Malinin piano competition at the IBACH Piano Academy in Germany, First Prize in the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition in New York, 2008 Krannert Debut Artist Award, Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra Piano Concerto Competition, UIUC School of Music Concerto Competition, and Artist Presentation Society Competition. She was also the recipient of the Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship, KAWAI Outstanding Musician Award, Canada Banff Center Creative Musician Award.
Tai has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia as a solo recitalist, chamber pianist and collaborative musician. Her concerts venues include Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, Villa Bertramaka in Prague, Concert Hall in Zwickau Germany, Shanghai Oriental Art Center in China, Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for Performing Arts in Illinois, Recital hall of Jan Deyl Conservatory in Czech Republic, Steinway Hall in Akron Ohio and Los Altos California, National Concert Hall in Taiwan, Rolstan Recital Hall at the Banff Center in Canada, Recital Hall of Long Ridge Music Center in Connecticut, Ethical Society in St. Louis, Performing Arts Center at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Texas, Carter Hall University of Northern Colorado in Greely Colorado, COFAC Recital Hall of Western Illinois, Ludwig Recital Hall of Kent State University in East Liverpool Ohio, Auer Hall of Indiana University in Bloomington Indiana, etc. She has given master classes at San Jose State University, Texas A&M University, University of Tainan in Taiwan, Del Mar College-Corpus Christi in Texas, Coastal Carolina and Converse College-Spartanburg in South Carolina, and New World School of Arts in Miami and others.
Tai has been a soloist with the Tainan Youth Orchestra, University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra, UTPA Wind Ensemble, UTPA Chamber Orchestra, and Valley Symphony Orchestra. Her performances have been broadcast on WFMY in Illinois and KBMH in Texas. A concerto performance review reads“...she tenderly, yet powerful, interpreted the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op.43 by Rachmaninoff. The audience, and members of the orchestra, responded with a storm of applause and shouts of “bravo as they rose to their feet to express their appreciation for the superb artistry of this delightful performer. ” (La Feria News).
As a dedicated chamber musician, the Steinway Concert and Artist Division in New York invited the Ehlen-Tai Piano Duo to become a Steinway Artist Ensemble in 2012. The Ehlen-Tai duo has been performing concert tours in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, California and Texas. Ehlen-Tai Piano Duo debut CD “Virtuosic Dance” was published in 2016 by Azica Records. Tai has been working with many internationally renowned artists in the DoCha Chamber Music Festival, C’est Bon Chamber Festival, Killington Music Festival and Montecito international Music Festival, including Pacifica Quartet, Stefan Milenkovićst, Dmitry Kouzov, Joseph Silverstein, Wendy Warner, Sergiu Schwartz, Alondra de la Parra and so on.
In 2014, Tai founded the Encore! Piano Association, which promotes piano music in the community and helps developing students to become more successful pianists and educators. The Association invites internationally renowned pianists to give master classes and concerts to inspire and motivate students. She collaborates with local piano teachers and students in the community to develop the growth of piano-related activities. Meanwhile, Tai has served on the judging committee of Music Teachers’ Association of California Piano Competition, South Texas Piano Competition, US Open Music Competition, US New Star Piano Competition, and Beethoven Society Competition. Her students accomplishments include being prizewinners of New York Debut Young Musicians Competition, United States International Music competition, MTAC Piano Solo Competition, US Open Music Competition, MVMTA Piano Competition, Music Legacy Open Competition, US New Star Piano Competition, Elite International music Competition and Steinway Junior Competition.
Tai was the first pianist earning both Artist Diploma and DMA degrees in Piano performance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) since 1867, where she studied with Ian Hobson and served as his teaching assistant. Tai’s prior piano training was with Arnaldo Cohen and Evelyne Brancart at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she received the Master of Music degree and Performance Diploma with honors, and the Bachelor of Music degree with Dr. Li-Chin Lai at National Taiwan Normal University.
Yu-Chi Tai is an international Steinway Ensemble Artist of Ehlen-Tai Piano Duo.