Hailed as “… a deity of elegance” by the New Brunswick Beacon, Dr. Tina Chong is an international award-winning pianist and sought-after teaching artist. She currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music at San Diego State University and performs regularly with the San Diego Symphony as principal keyboardist. A native of Banff, Canada, Tina has been described as, “…mature and yet fresh, imbued with tradition and yet inhabited by individuality, the marks of an artist” (The Herald Times).
Since her orchestral debut at the age of nine, Tina has appeared as a guest soloist with orchestras throughout the world including the Calgary Philharmonic, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. Tina’s recital career has brought her to such venues as the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the National Arts Centre and Rideau Hall in Ottawa, the Sala Chopin in Mexico City, and the Sheldon Center in St. Louis. She has also been featured in the La Jolla Music Society Summerfest, Portland International Summer Festival, Lachine Festival, and the WFMT Series of Chicago. Under the management of Jeunesses Musicales of Canada, Tina has gone on several whirlwind concert tours throughout Canada.
An artist of great versatility, Tina performs in a wide range of genres such as classical, jazz, pop, Broadway, and film music in orchestra and chamber ensembles, as well as dance collaborations. Her prowess on piano, harpsichord, fortepiano, celesta, synthesizer, and harmonium have led to projects with artists such as Rachel Barton Pine, Inon Barnaton, Anthony McGill, Stefan Jackiw, and Tyler Duncan. Tina has also played regularly with the San Diego Symphony since 2017. This breadth of creative activity continues to inspire Tina’s engagement and cross-pollination with a wide community of musicians and audiences.
Tina earned her Doctor of Music degree at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music with a major in piano performance and minors in music education and historical performance practice. Her mentors were Arnaldo Cohen, Peter Miksza, and Elisabeth Wright. Tina is also a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she studied with Angela Cheng. She has worked closely with artist-teachers Robert McDonald, Jerome Lowenthal, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Julian Martin, Arie Vardi, and Menahem Pressler at numerous international summer festivals.
At San Diego State University, Tina has served on the piano faculty since 2016. Prior to this appointment, she served as a visiting professor at the University of San Diego for two years and Associate Instructor of Piano at Indiana University for seven years. Tina is an active international clinician, giving frequent guest lectures, masterclasses, and adjudications. She is a passionate advocate of alternatively-sized keyboards and is responsible for the recent acquisition of two reduced-sized piano keyboards at SDSU, the first of its kind in a university on the west coast.
Tina has been a prizewinner in a number of major international competitions, including the Montreal International Musical Competition and the Jacques Klein Piano Competition in Brazil. She captured first prize in the CMC International Stepping Stone Competition, the Aspen Music Festival concerto competition, Indiana University Piano Concerto Competition, and the Seneca Chamber Orchestra Competition. She is a recipient of the Indiana University Chancellor’s Fellowship for scholastic achievement and several grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
Away from the keyboard, you can find Tina hiking in the mountains with her family and baking healthy treats.