Tao Lin and Catherine Lan
It wasn’t quite love at first sight. Perhaps it was love at first sound.
The two piano talents met at a competition; fortunately, they were not competing against each other or else their story may not have had the same outcome. Catherine Lan took the stage for her performance, while Tao Lin gazed from the side.
“When she was onstage it was extraordinary. Her energy and everything was tremendous. It woke me up,” Tao says.
After hearing her play, the two got to talking—or at least Tao did. Catherine was sick with the flu and had a strained voice. But despite their communication issues, they hit it off. They began dating shortly after meeting. A month later, they were married.
Now together eight years, the dynamic duo attributes their strong relationship to music. One of their latest ventures is called the Beaux Arts Chamber Series. It kicks off Jan. 11 at Opera Naples in the Wang Opera Center.
Catherine and Tao were brought together by music—something that had been ingrained in each of them since childhood.
Catherine began playing at the age of 3; Tao started at the age of 4.
Catherine was enrolled in piano classes because it was a fashionable and cultural thing for families to do in Taiwan. However, the teacher quickly took notice of her talent. From there, her professional training began, and so did her passion and unique intimacy with many sorts of instruments. Her career brought her to the United States to perform and study.
Tao comes from a family of great musical influence. His parents are both piano professors at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. His first public performance was at the age of 8. As a teenager, he performed in major musical events all over China before moving to the United States.
Marriage between musicians can be a unique challenge, they say, because of the difficulty of the field and its competitive nature. Their careers require many hours of practice. The key is respecting the other’s time to practice—even though it may require up to 12 hours a day at the piano bench, at times.
Tao and Catherine reside on the east coast of Florida, teaching music at Broward College. They have received outstanding accreditations throughout their soloist careers, collaborated with some of the most prominent chamber soloists in the world, and traveled to myriad exotic cities playing side by side. This summer they are planning to play in Switzerland and Slovenia, for the first time.
On top of that, they most recently founded the Beaux Arts Chamber Series. This year it will be returning for its second season in the Wang Opera Center. David and Cecile Wang, for whom the building is named, are big supporters of chamber music and the couple. Wang proposed the idea of bringing a concert series to Naples due its reputation as a prominent cultural and fine arts hub.
Catherine and Tao’s talents will be showcased as part of the first concert, The Romantic Piano Trio. Overall, the four concerts’ programs include music and composers from different eras and diverse styles.
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Beaux Arts Chamber Series
Jan. 11: Beaux Arts Series Concert 1 – The Romantic Piano Trio
David Requiro, Cello
Ayano Ninomiya, Violin
Catherine Lan, Pianist
Tao Lin, Pianist
Feb. 21: Beaux Arts Series Concert 2 – An Evening with Maestro Lewis Kaplan
Lewis Kaplan, Violinist
March 23: Beaux Arts Series Concert 3 – Henschel String Quartet
Christoph Henschel & Catalin Desaga, Violins
Monika Henschel, Viola
Mathias Beyer-Karlshøj, Cello
April 25: Beaux Arts Series Concert 4 – Paul Huang, Violinist
Paul Huang, Violinist
Tao Lin, Artistic Director and Pianist
All concerts start at 8 p.m. at the Wang Opera Center.