Pei-yeh Tsai

Piano, 2021

Pei-yeh Tsai joined The Peoria Symphony Orchestra in 2019 as principal pianist and featured soloist. In addition to PSO, she is a frequent sub for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and principal pianist for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and New Bedford Symphony.  Her performance is best described by cellist Yo-Yo Ma: “ Tsai is a powerhouse of a pianist; she plays with an incredible depth of soul. Her love of her instrument is perceptible…she draws the listener in with a great range of color and expression.”

Tsai’s mastery of her instrument and her ability to express its depths has been noted throughout her career. She took first prizes in the Aaron Richmond International Piano Competition and International New England Chamber Music Ensemble Competition; Special Viardo Prize at the Viardo International Piano Competition, the Rising Star Award and Sergio Fiorentino Memorial Award from the Rising Stars of Taipei Philharmonic Foundation, the Rose Marie Milholland Award from the Peabody Conservatory, the Marie Miller Award from the Women’s Guild, and a prize winner of The Iowa International Piano Competition. As an advocate of new music and a past member of BleepBlop electro-acoustic ensemble, she has premiered numerous new works; among them: Ketty Nez’s piano concerto “Thresholds” with Boston University Wind Ensemble and “Fleeting” for solo piano by Michele Caniato. 

Tsai’s performances are also wide ranging geographically, having performed cross continents in Moscow, Vienna, Spain, Austria and Taiwan. She has also performed at the distinguished venues of Chicago Symphony Center, Carnegie Hall, and Alice Tully Hall. Her performances has also played on WFMT, WTVP, WCTV, STV8 and BIRN radio station and has an exclusive personal interview by BBC’s Radio 4 “Soul Music” with Rosie Boulton, about her performance of Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto. 

Dr. Tsai received her graduate diploma from The Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University under the tutelage of Boris Slutsky with regular masterclasses with Leon Fleisher. She received her master’s degree from The Juilliard School with Jerome Lowenthal, and her D.M.A. from Boston University.  In addition, Dr. Tsai also studied orchestra performance with Mary Sauer, whom holds 57 years as the principal pianist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. During her leisure time, Tsai finds inspiration hiking remote mountain trails and alpine lakes, capturing these images with a keen photographers eye.