Stephen Tian-You Ai


I am a pianist, toy pianist, and doctoral student in music theory. My primary research interests are split between 17th-century keyboard music and contemporary popular music. On one hand, my work on the music of the 17th century deals primarily with historical meantone and well-temperaments, centering the expressive potential of keyboard tuning in historical treatises and modern historically informed performance. On the other hand, my research in popular music attempts to understand the role of music in an audiovisual culture of increasing digital media connectivity, particularly in anime, kpop, and children’s television. 

As a pianist, I have a strong inclination toward early music, new music, and their intersections. I have appeared in concert with the BlackBox Ensemble, the Horizon Ensemble, the Berkshire Symphony, the Los Angeles Bach Festival Orchestra, and the San Diego Symphony. I hold degrees from CUNY Queens College, Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge, and Williams College. For more information, visit