Profile: Jason Lai

Biography

A cellist, pianist and composer by training Jason Lai first came to notice as one the leading lights in a new generation of young conductors after the BBC Philharmonic voted him the winner of the BBC Young Conductors Workshop. His successful tenure as Assistant Conductor to the BBC Philharmonic from 2002-2005 gave him the opportunity to work closely with principal conductor Gianandrea Noseda, and to conduct the other BBC orchestras and BBC Singers in various concerts and recordings which have been broadcast on Radio 3. He also made his BBC Proms debut with the BBC Philharmonic in 2003.

Jason was a prize winner at the Leeds Conducting Competition in 2005 and has taken part in masterclasses with Pierre Boulez, Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev and Simon Rattle. He has conducted a variety of orchestras, from the Halle to the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

As a broadcaster Jason has appeared on the panel of BBC Young Musician of the Year competition and was a judge in the recent BBC classical talent show Classical Star.

Jason Lai was awarded a scholarship to Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester to study cello, and went on to read music and composition at Oxford University. He was appointed Music Director of the Oxford University Philharmonia which gave him his first chances to conduct major repertoire. As a composer he was a finalist in the BBC Young Composers Award (1994) where his piece Synopsis was performed by London Sinfonietta. He completed his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, studying composition with Robert Saxton and was appointed Fellow in Conducting.

Related Videos

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  • Sue's Episode 3 diary

    Mentor Jason says cut the comedy and get serious…

  • Sue Perkins with her mentor

    Sue Perkins with her mentor, Jason Lai

  • Introduction to conducting

    A whistle-stop tour of some basic conducting techniques.

See more videos

Memorable Quotes

Breathe with your orchestra.

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