Benjamin (Ben) Tao is a 22-year-old violist, who will be embarking on his first year of training at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in 2022. Ben recently completed a Bachelor of Music (Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying with Associate Professor Goetz Richter AM, and is looking forward to starting his studies here this year under the tutelage and expertise of Caroline Henbest, to further his passion for music and development as a violist.
Ben initially started learning the violin at age nine, learning from Goetz Richter from age 14, picking up the viola at the ripe old age of 18. He is also a very keen chamber musician and aims to explore this craft more extensively at ANAM.
Ben has received lessons and masterclasses from well-renowned violists such as Wolfram Christ and Sylvie Altenburger (both in Freiburg), Johannes Luthy (Karlsruhe), and Esther van Stralen (Bremen), and has received chamber music masterclasses with members from the Emerson and Doric string quartets. Other musical highlights include his participation in Australian Youth Orchestra’s National Music Camp.
Outside of the viola, Benjamin is also proficient at playing the piano and violin, and has also has a passion for the Anglican choral tradition – he was a Merewether Scholar and chorister at Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore) and was the Assistant Director of Choirs in 2020-2021.
Ben has many interests outside of music. He likes to stay active and is a very avid association footballer when he can find the time. Ben is also a fluent German speaker.
Recipient of the Georgina Grosvenor Scholarship - generously supported by the Bokhara Foundation
Photo credit Pia Johnson