Born in 1987 Hanoi, Viet Nam into a music family, Lan Cao is a versatile pianist encompassing a wide range of stylistic influences, with repertoire from classical to contemporary music and interdisciplinary works. She studied piano for 12 years at the Hanoi National Conservatory before receiving a full government scholarship to study at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels where she earned both her Bachelor Degree and Master Degree with Distinction from the class of Boyan Vodenitcharov and Daniel Blumenthal. She graduated with highest score the Master of Contemporary Piano Music in the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln in the class of Pierre-Laurent Aimard. Being the prize winner of several national and international competitions namely the Gold Prize at the ASIA Intl. Piano Festival and Competition in South Korea and the Second Prize at the National Autumn Competition (Concours d’Automne). She has performed in South Korea, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Romania, the Netherlands as soloist and as a chamber musician. She has earned a wide range of ensemble experience in festivals namely Klangspuren with Ensemble Modern Frankfurt and George Benjamin, Festival Ircam Paris@Manifest – with Sebastien Vichard (Ensemble Intercontemporain) and Philippe Manoury, Impuls Festival – with Ian Pace and Ensemble Klangforum Wien, and International Kamermuziek Festival Schiermonnikoog in the Netherlands, in Festival and Symposium for performing voice in Basel, etc.
She is the only winner of merit-based scholarship from Deloitte Foundation in Belgium and also received other merit-based scholarships to pursue the prestigious International Lied Masterclasses Udo Reinemann, scholarships from the Kumho Asiana Group Foundation, from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and the National Conservatory of Hanoi. She has played in masterclasses for such renowned musicians as Anton Kuerti, Andreas Weber, Adrian Brendel, Dang Thai Son, Michel Bourdoncle, etc. She has also received grants for cooperation projects from ON-Neue Musik Köln, Ministery of Culture in Nordrhein-Westfalen and Rhein-Energie Foundation.
After several years playing and experimenting in the Free Improvisation Ensemble under the guidance of Kris Defoort (Brussels) and under Paulo Alvares (Cologne), she engages more and more in conceptual and free Improvisation, notably with project Osmosis at Strom Festival Cologne 2013, with intermedial ensemble Auralisation at Festival Frischzelle Cologne, with the interdisciplinary ensemble Moment! at Festival Ankuft Neue Musik Berlin (Arrival of New Music Berlin), with the duo Parallel Asteroid at Musiklabor concert series in Cologne and Festival Kölner Musik Nacht, solo piano at Stadtgarten Köln, Loft Köln and at Festival Ad Hoc Köln, etc.
With the intention of starting a new music scene in Vietnam, she has cooperated wih DomDom Institute for experimental music and art to introduce contemporary music to young musicians in Vietnam.