Thomas Yu



Twitter: @thomasyupiano
Instagram: @thomasyupiano

Thomas Yu is one of the most recognized amateur musicians in the world. He has redefined what it means to be an amateur pianist, having performed with the BBC Orchestra of Wales, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He has appeared as a guest soloist at Berliner Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall, Munich Gasteig, BBC Hoddinott Hall, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Symphony Hall in Chicago, Hakuju Hall in Tokyo, as well as Roy Thomson Hall, National Arts Centre and Glenn Gould Studio in Canada. He continues to delight audiences across four continents while maintaining a full-time career as a periodontist.

In 2016, Yu was the unanimous winner of the prestigious 7th Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition in Texas, taking home the gold medal as well as Press and Audience Awards. Ten years earlier, he also swept the Paris International Competition for Outstanding Piano Amateurs. In the span of this decade, Yu also won the 2015 CBC’s Piano Hero, 2014 Honens Pro Am Competition (Calgary), 2012 International Amateur Piano Competition (Manchester), 2010 B&B International Piano Competition (New York), and 2009 Bösendorfer International Piano Competition (Vienna). Yu is also a winner of several national competitions, including the Canadian Music Competition and the Canadian Federation of Music Teacher’s Association Piano Competition.

In addition to his musical pursuits, Dr. Yu obtained his DMD with Great Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan. He then completed a General Practitioner Residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto before obtaining his Master Degree in Periodontics at the University of Toronto. He owns a busy private practice in Calgary, teaches at the Foothills Medical Hospital, and is a sought-after lecturer across Canada. 

Yu has been featured in Slipped Disc, Pianist Magazine, CBC TV, Global TV, CTV, Bravo!, TV5 and France 2 television. He has also recorded with CBC Radio, BBC Radio, Radio France and Radio Classique. Yu has received accolades from two Governor Generals of Canada, a Lietuenant Governor of Saskatchewan as well as Mayors of Calgary and Toronto. The University of Saskatchewan named Yu as one of the school’s top 100 most influential alumni of the past century. Famed photographer V. Tony Hauser has included him in multiple exhibitions featuring prominent Canadian musicians such as Pinkas Zuckerman, Angela Hewitt, James Ehnes and Jan Lisiecki. Thomas was also named to the Class of 2014 in Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40.

His passion for music was influenced by his two private teachers and mentors, Bonnie Nicholson in Saskatoon, and Marc Durand at the Glenn Gould School/Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Yu has also worked with Leion Fleisher, Julian Martin, Emmanuel Ax, Robin Harrison and Marek Jablonski. As a laureate of the 2nd Canadian Chopin Competition, Yu also competed in the 15th International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Poland.