Bernard holds Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in collaborative piano from University of Michigan, USA, graduated under the tutelage of the world-renowned Martin Katz. He previously resided in Birmingham, United Kingdom, where he graduated with Master of Music with Distinction from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. His performance was remarked by Russian concert pianist Mikhail Kazekevich as “an outstanding performance marked by technical excellence and fluency, original approach to interpretation and highly developed sense of ensemble playing”.
Being a versatile pianist, he has won numerous prizes, awards, and fellowships for his works as a pianist in art songs, operas, and chamber music. He was awarded the John Ireland Accompanist Prize, Birmingham Town Hall Symphony Hall prize, highly-commended pianist in the Edward Brooks Lieder and English Songs Prizes, a recipient of the Denis Matthew Memorial Trust, Hester Dickson full scholarship award, amongst others. His works in operas has seen him being appointed as an opera coach in productions in Italy, Canada and the USA. Bernard is a regular vocal coach with Melofonetica in London, coaching in their annual Veneto Opera Summer School in Italy.
Being a passionate music educator, Bernard began his teaching as a teenager and holds both the Licentiate Diplomas in Piano Performance, LTCL and LRSM. Praised for having “an admirable physiological setup” by British pianist Robin Bowman, Bernard is known in his piano teaching to emphasise on technique as the foundation for expressive playing. His constant work with pianists and singers alike has led him to be described as a “knowledgeable and enthusiastic coach” by Dr. Rose Mannino.
Dr. Tan is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Music at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), and a coach and répétiteur in Kuala Lumpur City Opera (KLCO).