Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours in Piano Performance
Master of Music with Distinction in Piano Performance
Born in Tawain, Nicole Chao began her piano studies at the age of three, and later undertook graduate studies at the New Zealand School of Music with American pianist, Thomas Hecht. Nicole is the laureate of numerous national and international awards and scholarships, including the North Queensland Piano and Instrumental Concerto Competition Australia; Kapiti Coast National Piano Competition; National Chamber Music Competition of the International Chamber Music School and Festival Canterbury; WestpacTrust National Chamber Music Contest; Victoria University of Wellington Graduate Awards; and the prestigious Baines Trust Scholarship.
Nicole performs as soloist and chamber musician to critical acclaim. A reviewer from the Kapiti Observer wrote that “Chao is an immaculate pianist … she displayed great strength …and for the first time during the evening I noticed the silence around me, with the audience captivated by her style. This was especially so during the Andante with its simple romantic phrasing, so easy on the ear. Look out for Chao …she will be a force to be reckoned with.” One Middle C review noted that “Chao’s sense of high romanticism was rewarding, producing impassioned playing towards the climax,” and another praised Chao’s “dazzling display of speed, agility, and clarity.”
On top of a busy performing schedule as a member of Duo Enharmonics, Nicole is a dedicated teacher, fostering the next generation of pianists.