Li Tao is a composer, percussionist, conductor and pianist from China. She is an honors graduate from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing (CHN) and DePaul University in Chicago (IL) with degrees in music composition. She is the recipient of the Charles A. and Jackie Swenson Scholarship, the Brandon Scott Rumsey Award and the Global Corner Scholarship from the University of Oregon. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Music Composition at the University of Oregon studying with Dr. Robert Kyr and Dr. David Crumb.
She was winner of the 2013 Kleinman Composition Competition. Her pieces have been performed internationally by Fifth house Ensemble, the DePaul University Orchestra, the Oregon Percussion Ensemble, the TaiHei Ensemble, the Ova Novi Ensemble and Implosion Percussion Ensemble. Her music has been heard at several events including the Oregon Bach Festival Composer Symposiums 2014/16 (OR), the Music Today Festival 2017 (OR), Workshop on Computer Music and Audio Technology 2015 (TWN), the New Music on the Bayou 2016/17 (LA) and Kyiv Contemporary Music Days 2016 (UKR).
Chinese traditional culture profoundly influences her music. She often uses ancient Chinese ideology combined with contemporary Western techniques to create her own distinct musical language. Through these techniques, she attempts to deeply explore the inner connections between composer, performer and instrument. This is also a large part of her focus as the music director of the Oregon-based TaiHei Ensemble.