Born in Gui Yang, China, EMILY TIAN began playing piano after learning how to walk. From age six until eighteen, she won a total of ten local piano classical competitions. From junior-high to high school, Emily earned music department “student of the year” seven years in a row. Perhaps she would have earned eight, but she skipped one year after showing advanced skill. In 2005, Emily received her bachelor's degree studying piano performance at Gui Zhou University, China. She went on to complete her advanced studies at the Stuttgart Music Conservatory, Germany, under guidance of Frau Wang Yin Huang.
In 2012, Emily earned her master’s degree in piano performance at California State University, East Bay, where she studied with Ellen Wasserman and Johannes Wallmann (now Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Wisconsin). Since then, Emily has stayed active as an accompanist and vocal coach for local organizations such as CSU East Bay Music Department, Young Women's Choral Projects in San Francisco, and CSU East Bay Singing Society conducted by Buddy James.
Emily has also stayed active performing for organizations at major events such as the Hot Air Music Festival, CSU East Bay Orchestre dB New Music ensemble, Festival of Contemporary Music in San Francisco, and Composers, Inc. Currently, Emily collaborates regularly with emerging and established composers and musicians alike, all while maintaining a full time position as the lead piano faculty at Oakland School for the Arts. She has accompanied DWC since August 2017.