Celebrated for his “dramatic” and “assertive” playing (New York Times), pianist and multimedia artist Tristan McKay’s performances explore an uncharted musical terrain. Mr. McKay engages with a diverse repertoire that includes seminal works by composers such as Morton Feldman, Charles Ives, George Crumb, and Michael Finnissy, as well as new works by composers and artists based around the world, such as Anne Goldberg, David Bird, and Michaela Davies. Recent performances include a concert of new music by Ramin Arjomand, performances with the TAK Ensemble, the premiere of a newly commissioned graphic score by Leah Asher on the BLUEPRINTS Piano Series, and an evening of music for six-sided keyboard with Mark Mothersbaugh.
Tristan McKay is a co-founder and member of new music trio Dead Language. Known for their innovative programming, theatrical performances and a dedication to music that renegotiates composer-performer identities, Dead Language has performed on both coasts of the United States as well as in Brisbane, Australia, where they presented workshops and performances as ensemble in residence at the Queensland Conservatorium. Mr. McKay has also been a featured artist in residence at Denver School of the Arts, and Columbia University with the TAK Ensemble. This season, Mr. McKay is also joining Random Access Music, a performer/composer collective based in Queens, New York.
Tristan McKay is a Ph.D. candidate in Piano Performance at New York University where he studies with Dr. Marilyn Nonken. His research is centered on the spatial organization of experimental musical notations, and the semiotic engagements they engender for performers. Mr. McKay has recently given presentations on his research at New York University, the University of Colorado Boulder, and Denver School of the Arts. He also writes for I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, a blog about classical music, art, and technology. Mr. McKay has previously received degrees are from New York University (B.M. with a minor in Anthropology) and Manhattan School of Music (M.M. Contemporary Performance).