Faculty & Staff

Ching-Chun Lai
Director of Orchestral Activities and Engagement, Associate Professor

The process of practice, learning, and creating is not just for the producing. It is rather a journey to discover more details about the world and oneself.

Degrees & Accomplishments
DMA, University of Wisconsin-Madison
MM (cum laude), New England Conservatory
MS, National Cheng Kung University
BS, National Cheng Kung University

Conductor Ching-Chun Lai has worked with professional orchestras and ensembles such as the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Buffalo Chamber Players, Gstaad Festival Orchestra (Switzerland), Madison Bach Musicians, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, New Symphony Orchestra (Bulgaria), Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and Schenectady Symphony Orchestra. She has served as assistant conductor for renowned conductors such as Gunther Schuller, Larry Rachleff, JoAnn Falletta, Duain Wolfe, and Christof Perick, among others. In addition, she has conducted many standard opera productions as well as premieres.

Lai has worked with numerous youth orchestras, school orchestras, and university orchestras nationwide and internationally. Besides regularly engaging with all-state orchestras, recently, she has conducted the Boston University Symphony Orchestra, given masterclasses and lectures for university music programs such as National Chia-Yi University, National Taipei University of Education, and National Taichung University of Education in Taiwan.

A protégé of Gunther Schuller, Lai served as a conducting fellow at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival and Academy in Switzerland under the mentorship of Neeme Jarvi and Johannes Schlaefli. She also has participated in the Dallas Opera’s Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors. Lai twice received the Church Memorial Conducting Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was granted the Dr. Nuala McGann Drescher fellowship sponsored by the State of New York/United University Professions.

Prior to Rutgers, Lai held the post of Director of Orchestras and Associate Professor of Conducting at the Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam, for more than a decade. During her tenure, the Crane Symphony Orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to SUNY-Potsdam, she was on faculty at The Ohio State University (Director of Orchestral Studies and Visiting Professor of Orchestral Conducting) and Mount Holyoke College. Many of her conducting students are now working in professional orchestras, operas, as well as in educational settings.

Lai is represented by William Reinert Associates.