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Gifted with an exemplary piano touch and an admirable physiological setup…

Robin Bowman
World-renowned pianist and vocal coach excellent Italian language and music coach…

Matteo Dalle Fratte
Italian coach at Royal Opera House

…an outstanding performance marked by technical excellence and fluency, original approach to interpretation and highly developed sense of ensemble playing.

Mikhail Kazekevich
Russian concert pianist

Dr Bernard Tan graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree in collaborative piano at the University of Michigan, USA, being the only Malaysian accepted to this program, under the tutelage of the world-renowned Martin Katz. He previously resided in Birmingham, United Kingdom, where he graduated with a Master of Music with Distinction from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, under the tutelage of Robin Bowman and Jan Loeffler.

Bernard has won numerous prizes, awards, and fellowships for his work as a pianist in art songs and operas. He was awarded the John Ireland Accompanist Prize, Birmingham Town Hall Symphony Hall prize, second prize in the Delia Hall Accompanist Prize, and highly-commended pianist in both the Edward Brooks Lieder and English Songs Prizes, and the Stuart Cameron French Song Prize. He also received the Denis Matthew Memorial Trust and Malcolm John Bullock Memorial Trust Award. Bernard won the inaugural Hester Dickson full scholarship award to Oxenfoord International Summer School in 2016, led by the renowned pianist Malcolm Martineau. His work as an opera répétiteur has seen him appointed as an opera coach in productions in Italy, Canada, the United Kingdom, the USA, and Malaysia. In 2019, he attended the prestigious Music Academy of the West as a vocal piano fellow and was a coaching fellow in both Opera on the Avalon (Canada) and International Lyric Academy (Italy) opera companies in 2018. Bernard is a trained operatic conductor and holds an LTCL diploma in singing.

A phonetics enthusiast, Bernard coaches lyric diction of 9 languages. In particular, he has developed a specialisation in sung Italian and its functions in music. He serves as a regular vocal coach with Melofonetica in their annual Veneto Opera Summer School in Italy. In March 2017, he directed, coached, and performed in a project of Romantic Italian art songs Amore e morte. Bernard is also the creator of "Pinyin to Singing", a method of sung Mandarin Chinese for English-speaking singers.

Bernard is also a passionate music educator. He started teaching as a teenager at Melody Music School in Seremban, where he began his first piano lessons with Chen Chit Shian. He has also come under the tutelage of Woon Chi Choong and obtained both the Licentiate Diplomas in Piano Performance, LTCL and LRSM as a teenager. Since then, Bernard has devoted his time to developing his teaching philosophy in piano playing and vocal coaching. As a specialist in vocal music, he has coached numerous singers in competitions, opera productions and recitals. Praised for having "an admirable physiological setup" by pianist Robin Bowman, Bernard is known to emphasise technique as a foundation for expressive piano playing. One of his highlights is guiding a British pianist in his 70s to perform a full-length piano recital. His constant work with pianists and singers alike has led him to be described as a "knowledgeable and enthusiastic coach" by soprano Dr Rose Mannino.

Dr Bernard Tan currently serves as a senior lecturer in the Conservatory of Music at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), besides maintaining a busy schedule of giving masterclasses, teaching, coaching, and performing.

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