Celebrated for his “dramatic” and “assertive” playing (New York Times), pianist and multimedia artist Tristan McKay explores an uncharted musical terrain. His repertoire is centered on music by American composers from the past century and new works by living composers. He regularly performs in New York with groups such as TAK Ensemble, Tenth Intervention, and Friends of MATA, and has performed internationally in Europe and Australia. Recent performances include the album release of Mario Diaz de Leon’s Sanctuary, recitals featuring Ives’ Concord Sonata and Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Preludes, a tour of Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King with Paul Pinto, a portrait concert of Lee Hyla at The Stone, and an evening of music for six-sided keyboard with Mark Mothersbaugh.
Equally dedicated to doing research on the music of our time, Tristan holds a PhD in Piano Performance from New York University. His research interests include graphic notations, semiotics and linguistics theory, and aesthetics. He has presented on his research internationally, and has published in Semiotics 2018: Resilience in an Age of Relation. His book A Semiotic Approach to Open Notations: Ambiguity as Opportunity will be published Spring 2021 (Cambridge University Press). Tristan is also a Contributing Writer for I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, an award-winning multimedia hub for living music creators. In his free time, Tristan enjoys playing ice hockey.