Christina Lai

finalist photo
Year: 
2016
Winner: 
No
School: 
UNC Chapel Hill

Pianist Christina Lai, from Plantation, FL, began her musical training at the age of five. She 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.

Among several achievements, Christina won the UNC Concerto Competition in 2014 and was invited to play as a soloist with the UNC Symphony Orchestra. This past summer, she attended the Aspen Music Festival and School as a Thomas S. Kenan Fellow. She placed third in the National Association of Negro Musicians Piano Competition and alternate in the Young Artists Piano Competition of the North Carolina Music Teachers Association. Christina competed in the Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists in Ettlingen, Germany, was one of nine national recipients of the Chopin Foundation of the United States' scholarship awards, and was chosen to receive the Marilyn Caldwell Piano Solo Award from the National Federation of Music Clubs. Additionally, she has also performed in master classes for Nelita True, John Perry, Phillipe Entremont, Gerard Schwarz, Leon Bates, and Molly Morkoski.

Complementing to her musical ventures, Christina was an avid volunteer in the music therapy department of the North Carolina Memorial Hospital. She also thoroughly enjoys teaching and has given lessons for UNC's Musical Empowerment, a non-profit organization designed to provide free lessons to underprivileged children, and Aspen Music Festival and School's Passes and Lessons Scholarship Program. In the summer of 2014, she and a fellow Kenan Scholar, travelled to France to work with student composer Yuying Weng on a collaborative piece synthesizing Chinese and Western Classical music elements.

Christina is currently pursuing her Master of Music in piano performance under the guidance of Professor Read Gainsford and currently teaches applied lessons at Florida State University.