Tema Blackstone’s rich and varied life in music has grown out of her career as a pianist. Her influential work encompasses advocacy of music and musicians as a force for personal and societal well-being, and the passing on of the legacy of great music to new generations. She is currently on the faculty of The Juilliard’s Pre-College division in New York. As a public speaker, Ms. Blackstone raises awareness of the positive effects of the arts on society, describing how music and medicine reflect and enhance one another. She champions this cause as musician and lecturer wherever she travels, from Boston, New York, Calgary and Toronto to France, Switzerland and China. Her impressive concert career encompasses solo engagements as well as piano duo performances with Hung-Kuan Chen, to whom she is married. The couple often teaches as a team and has performed worldwide.
Ms. Blackstone has made the mentoring and supporting of young pianists a major focus. She co-founded the Millennium 3 Music Recital Series in Boston (1990) and The Connection at Mount Royal Conservatory in Calgary, which funded pianists from China and North America in Canada (1999). Since 2012 she has been President of the Artemisia Foundation, which creates opportunities for promising young artists to be presented in high-profile venues and to be involved in community outreach. Artemisia Akademie at Yale, which began in 2014, offers a day each month to eight carefully-chosen pianists, providing them with master classes and seminars in business, health, art and writing taught by Yale University professors & in New York at The Juilliard School. These young pianists become ambassadors to their communities, promoting the power of classical music to their peers by both speaking and performing.
Tema Blackstone earned her Master’s degree in Performance at Boston University, studying with Anthony di Bonaventura, and continued doctoral studies with Hung-Kuan Chen. She served as Chair of the Piano Department at Mount Royal University in Canada from 1999 to 2006. She has been on the faculty of New England Conservatory’s preparatory division and the Walnut Hill School in Boston, and has lectured and taught at Shanghai Conservatory since 2005. She assists Hung-Kuan Chen in the College Division and together, they have taught and coached hundreds of young pianists, including such notable performers as Yuja Wang, Sean Chen, Niu Niu, Maxim Lando, and Lukas Vondracek.
Ms. Blackstone has taught, lectured and performed at such international music festivals as Morningside Music Bridge, the Banff Festival, the annual Shanghai Conservatory Piano Academy and the Mosaic Festival in California, and has been presented by the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts & teaches annually at their summer Festival. She has judged the Honens International Piano and Steinway Competitions, and has participated in the Aspen Festival.