Exposed to art song since the age of ten, Canadian pianist Patricia Au is widely known for her vivacious playing and leads an active performing and coaching career, collaborating with vocalists and instrumentalists. She has appeared in such venues as Vancouver’s Chan Centre for Performing Arts, Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Boston’s Jordan Hall and Isabella Gardner Museum, as well as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. She has also toured throughout Canada, Austria, the United Kingdom, and the United States. She often performs with Phoenix Ensemble (Boston) and music directs for Boston Opera Collaborative. A frequent performer of contemporary music, she has workshopped works with their composers including Murray Adaskin, Sofia Gulbaidulina, John Greer, John Harbison, and Greg Zavracky.
As a recipient of various scholarships and grants, Ms. Au has pursued additional studies focusing on art song and opera in Canada, France, Italy, and Austria. She has performed for prominent musicians such as Sir Thomas Allen, Elly Ameling, Thomas Quasthoff, and Malcolm Martineau. Ms. Au has studied at the Franz-Schubert Institut in Baden bei Wien, Austria through the generosity of a Johann Strauss Foundation Scholarship awarded by the University of British Columbia. She was invited to the Académie Francis Poulenc in Tours, France and performed Tel jour, telle nuit for Poulenc’s extended family in Noizay.
Passionate about dissolving the boundaries between song performance and scholarship, she has studied and performed at the Vancouver International Song Institute with guidance of song scholars Susan Youens, Graham Johnson, Michael Musgrave, and Deborah Stein. She has also performed in lecture recitals discussing art song and lieder for renowned Schumann musicologist Rufus Hallmark and theorist Richard Kurth.
Not limiting her teaching approach to existing pedagogical models, Ms. Au actively works in Boston as a vocal coach, piano teacher, and teaching artist. In the past, she has served as faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and has taught at New England Conservatory in Boston. During the summer months, she is on faculty as a vocal coach/pianist for the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and during the academic year, she teaches as part of the Opera Staff at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Most recently, Ms. Au was appointed teaching artist for Boston Lyric Opera, traveling to local Boston Public Schools to create operas in classrooms.
In May 2017, she completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts majoring in Collaborative Piano from New England Conservatory. Her dissertation, “A New Edition of the Piano-Vocal Score of Jake Heggie’s To Hell and Back” is available through Bent Pen Music Inc.