Posted June 2, 2021
Born in Victoria, Patricia Au arrived at the Victoria Conservatory of Music in 1987 aged five. She was off to a flying start! Her talent shone through starting with weekly piano lessons with Kristine Beny and weekly sight reading lessons with Robert Holliston. At age 10 Patricia began studying with VCM legend Winifred Scott Wood, who later encouraged Patricia to complete the Camosun College/VCM two year teacher training program, which Patricia completed in one year.
When Patricia Au transferred to the University of Victoria to complete her undergraduate degree, she continued her piano studies with Dr Robin Wood. While a full time student, she also taught at the VCM for three years, making her one of the youngest faculty members at the VCM.
“I am forever grateful for the education and experiences I received at the Conservatory. The faculty instilled discipline, positivity, and empowerment in my education – it was a safe place of exploration and music making. I remember I often felt more safe to express myself at VCM than at school!”
Playing in assisted living facilities and public concerts at the Eaton Centre (now the Bay Centre) since the age of ten, really inspired me to transform classical music into a more inclusive and accessible art form.
I studied with Robert Holliston privately for 14 years – he inspired me to pursue a career in Collaborative Piano where I now coach and train young singers to be thoughtful artists. He introduced me to German Lieder at the young age of 10 and it was his passion for working with singers that inspired me to fall in love with song. I continued to further my education and got my master’s and doctoral degrees in Collaborative Piano. The study of music and text interpretation along with my deep admiration for singers have led me to a fulfilling multi-faceted career as a musical storyteller. I am currently one of the Resident Teaching Artists at the Boston Lyric Opera where I work in classrooms in the Boston Public Schools to empower youth with little to no formal music education to create and perform original opera projects.
Even during the pandemic, I am grateful to still work with singers and young students. I am currently performing less but have adapted my work virtually and digitally. Last fall, I virtually led a High School Audition Workshop for young singers for Boston Lyric Opera. I recently returned back to campus at Boston Conservatory at Berklee and started working in person with students. It’s a bit of an adjustment with appropriate social distancing and mandatory mask-wearing after 10 months of Zoom coaching, teaching, and learning.
“VCM is a safe space to learn and explore one’s passions. The quality of teaching is world class – and it’s in Victoria, one of the most beautiful places in the world!”
For more information on upcoming events, visit Dr Patricia Au’s website.