“Gifted with an exemplary piano touch and an admirable physiological setup…” – Robin Bowman, world-renowned coach and accompanist
“…an excellent Italian language and music coach…” – Matteo Dalle Fratte, Italian coach at Royal Opera House
“…an outstanding performance marked by technical excellence and fluency, original approach to interpretation and highly developed sense of ensemble playing.” – Mikhail Kazekevich, Russian concert pianist
Malaysia-born pianist Bernard Tan is a collaborative pianist, vocal coach and opera répétiteur. He recently graduated with Master of Music in Collaborative Piano with Distinction from Birmingham Conservatoire in the UK, under the tutelage of Robin Bowman and Jan Loeffler. Whilst in the UK, Bernard has won the John Ireland Accompanist Prize, Birmingham Town Hall Symphony Hall prize; second prize winner in the Delia Hall Accompanist Prize, and highly commended pianist in both the Edward Brooks Lieder and English Songs Prizes, and the Stuart Cameron French Song Prize. In the Conservatoire, Bernard was also a recipient of Denis Matthew Memorial Trust and Malcolm John Bullock Memorial Trust Award. In the summer of 2016, Bernard won the prestigious Hester Dickson full scholarship award to Oxenfoord International Summer School, led by the renowned pianist Malcolm Martineau. He has also been invited as a member of staff pianist in Abingdon Summer School for Solo Singers and Jackdaws French Art Song Workshop.
Raised in Seremban, Malaysia, Bernard started playing the piano at the age of 6 under Chen Chit Shian at Melody Music School. In 2007, he came under the tutelage of Woon Chi Choong, where he obtained both the Licentiate Diplomas in Piano Performance, LTCL and LRSM. Majored in classical piano performance, Bernard completed undergraduates with First Class Honours from University Putra Malaysia (UPM), under the tutelage of Carolyn Lo. Whilst in Malaysia, he was coached by Elaine Pao and Geneviene Wong in piano accompaniment. In 2013-2015, Bernard was the pianist of Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO), and has involved in performing under the baton of Kevin Field and Fabian Russell as an orchestra pianist and as a chamber pianist in Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP).
Bernard has also established himself as a highly-demanded vocal coach and répétiteur, where he frequently coach singers in songs and operatic arias. He emphasises in the integration of language and singing and its influence in the piano or orchestra part for operas. He also developed a specialisation in Italian diction and its function in operas and Italian songs, and was regarded as “an excellent Italian language and music coach” by Matteo Dalle Fratte, Italian coach at Royal Opera House, London. In March 2017, Bernard directed, coached, and performed in a project of Romantic Italian art songs “Amore e morte”.
Currently, Bernard is on the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) programme in collaborative piano at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, studying with the world-renowned pianist Martin Katz, a position he was offered with a full tuition scholarship and an appointment as Graduate Staff Assistant.