Department of Music
- FAC 322
- Keyboard Piano
From Plantation, Florida, Christina Lai finds passion in all fields of music teaching and collaboration. Seeking to bring diverse repertoire to audiences in local communities, Christina has collaborated with her chamber ensembles to focus on supporting of works by female composers. Through collaborations with composers such as Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Missy Mazzoli, and Liliya Ugay, Christina has brought their music to parts across the state of Florida. With Trio Riva, she was invited to debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall to premiere a work related to the COVID-19 pandemic by Lilya Ugay written for the trio. Christina has also commissioned works by composers Yuying Weng and Eunseon Yu, both who wrote pieces based on the fusion of diverse backgrounds.
Christina has performed in venues and at festivals across the United States and Europe, including at University of South Florida, University of Florida University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Interlochen School of the Arts, Chautauqua Institution, Brancaleoni International Music Festival, and 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. 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 has been invited to give presentations and workshops on piano pedagogy at conferences such as the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy and Florida State Music Teachers Annual Conference and for other MTNA chapters. She has taught for Florida State University, University of North Florida, Aspen Music Festival and School’s Passes and Lessons Scholarship Program, DC Strings Workshop, Good Sam Arts, 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 received her Master’s and Doctorate of Music in piano performance with a specialized study in piano pedagogy under the guidance of Professors Read Gainsford and Diana Dumlavwalla. She was also 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.