Born in Japan and raised in Canada, pianist Dr. Lisa Tahara first came to public attention with her concerto debut aged 15. Critically acclaimed performances followed in venues across Europe, Mexico, Canada and the United States.
A prizewinner at both the Canadian Music Competition and Canadian Concerto Competition in addition to numerous other awards and scholarships internationally - Lisa has given concerts extensively both as a chamber musician and soloist.
Following a successful European debut last season performing with the Danube Symphony Orchestra (in Budapest, Hungary), the same orchestra called her a few months later to replace a suddenly injured colleague. This saw Lisa fly on only a few days’ notice to Europe and give a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto which was tremendously well received by the local press and colleagues alike.
A sought-after chamber musician and collaborative pianist, Lisa Tahara has over twenty years of experience working with instrumentalists and vocalists in addition to choral and instrumental ensembles. She was a founding member of the Integral Ensemble (formerly the Amarok Ensemble) and twice became one of only eight pianists chosen for the internationally renowned collaborative piano internship at the Banff Centre. Lisa has been invited to many chamber music festivals including the Toronto Summer Music Festival, St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and the Festival Del Lago.
Her vast repertoire has seen concerto performances with orchestras across Canada including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, Burnaby Symphony, Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Victoria Orchestra, Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and the Georgian Bay Symphony Orchestra.
A devoted and passionate music educator, Dr. Lisa Tahara recently joined the faculty at the University of Toronto. She also maintains an active teaching studio and her students have been awarded many top prizes in local music festivals. As a member of the College of Examiners for The Royal Conservatory of Music, Lisa has adjudicated numerous exams in Canada. She has also been a senior adjudicator for several festivals including the Kingston Kiwanis Festival. Her interests in music and how it affects the quality of life for older adults inspired her to conduct keyboard classes involving improvisation at the Dunfield Retirement Residency in Toronto, Ontario as part of her doctoral dissertation in 2013, and gives regular lectures and workshops on this subject across the country.
Lisa Tahara studied at the University of Victoria and University of Toronto, in addition to programs in Europe at the Mozarteum Salzburg and the Wiener Musikseminar. She has participated in masterclasses with artists such as Emanuel Ax, Menahem Pressler, and Andras Schiff.
Highlights of the 2019/20 season include a tour with the artistic director of the Northern Lights Festival - violinist Christopher Wilshire, trips to Europe for concerti and recitals, her debut in Asia, and returning as faculty at the Festival Del Lago in Ajijic, Mexico.