Bolai Cao, Rising Star

Born in 1997, Bolai Cao started learning the piano at four-years-old. He entered the primary school affiliated to the Central Conservatory of Music (studied with Professor Zhang Xinning) at the age of 10, the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts at the age of 13 (studied with Professor Huang Yilun), and was admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music in the United States at the age of 14 with outstanding performance. Presently, he is studying at the Curtis Institute of Music with Gary Graffman.

Over the years, he has won special prizes as well as gold and silver medals in many important competitions for young pianists, including the first place and the special prize at the 12th XingHai Cup National Junior Piano Competitions in 2008, first place of the IX International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz in 2011, second place at the Gina Bachauer Young Artists International Piano Competition in 2012, second place at the Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists in 2012, and second place of the 7th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in 2012.

At the age of 13, Bolai began to give solo piano recitals in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Zhuhai. Between 2012-2013, he was invited to perform at several music festivals held inside and outside China. Bolai released his first solo piano recital album at the age of 14 and China Records released his album called Chopin: Etudes (Complete) in 2013.

Bolai is an emotionally genuine and versatile performer. The perfect combination of the sound of the piano and his internal emotion makes his performances memorable. He utilizes a song-like sound, colorful tone, delicate lines, and changing tension to express each work. Bolai has been called “one to watch in the future” (Cleveland Classical) and “the playing of…Bolai Cao carried me away” (Local Arts Live).





Domenico Scarlatti:

Piano Sonata in D minor, K.9

Piano Sonata in C Major, K. 159

Piano Sonata in B minor, K. 87

Piano Sonata in D Major, K. 29

Bryan Johnson: 


Frédéric Chopin:

Etudes, Op. 10 Nos. 1, 3, 5, 6, 2, 4

Franz Liszt:

Reminiscences de Don Juan, S. 418