Adjunct Professor, Piano
Contact: (904) 620-2961
From Plantation, Florida, Christina Lai finds passion in all fields of music teaching and collaboration. Among several achievements, Christina debuted with the UNC Symphony Orchestra performing the Ravel Left Hand Piano Concerto. She has attended and performed at the Chautauqua Institution and at the Aspen Music Festival and School as a Thomas S. Kenan Fellow. She has won various prizes in various competitions including the Florida State University Chapman/Neeson Competition, National Association of Negro Musicians Piano Competition, Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition, Rosen-Schaffel Competition, and Young Artists Piano Competition of the North Carolina Music Teachers Association. Christina was one of nine national recipients of the Chopin Foundation of the United States' scholarship awards. Additionally, she has received guidance from artists such as Richard Goode, Nelita True, John Perry, Boris Slutsky, Natalya Antonova, Phillipe Entremont, Ian Hobson, Alexander Gavrylyuk, Winston Choi, and Daniel Shapiro.
Complementing to her musical ventures, Christina was an avid volunteer in the music therapy department of the North Carolina Memorial Hospital. She also enjoys teaching and has taught for Florida State University, University of North Florida, Good Sam Arts, Aspen Music Festival and School's Passes and Lessons Scholarship Program, and UNC's Musical Empowerment (a non-profit organization designed to provide free lessons to underprivileged children). Her students have received scholarships and have been accepted into collegiate-level piano programs.
Christina's chamber performances have reflected her support of works by female composers. Funded by UNC's Research Fellowship, she and violinist Ina Liu travelled to France to work with female composer Yuying Weng on a piece synthesizing Chinese and Western Classical music elements. As a part of Trio Azul, she engaged with the community through collaboration with the Leon County Library and Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Zwilich; working with Zwilich and performing her piano trio. As part of Eirene Duo, Christina presented a lecture on and performed Chen Yi's China West Suite at the University of Florida. With Trio Nobile, she was invited to participate in University of South Florida's Rutenberg Chamber Music Series and play in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, commissioning a work by Eunseon Yu and premiering a work by Lilya Ugay.
Christina was one of four chosen as a William R. Kenan Jr. Music Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated with a Bachelor's of Music and a Chemistry minor. She also received her Doctorate of Music in piano performance with a specialized study in piano pedagogy under the guidance of Professors Read Gainsford and Diana Dumlavwalla.