TAK NG LAI, CS founding director, and conductor
Tak Ng Lai commenced his music education at the Canton Conservatory of Music in China. He furthered his studies in Hong Kong and was a member of the first violin section in the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra before completing his studies at the Vienna Conservatory of Music with a joint major in violin and conducting. In 1977, along with his wife, pianist Aster Lai, he immigrated to Canada and was a participant in the Conductor’s Workshop at the University of Toronto. Lai is a past music director and conductor of both the Niagara and the Mississauga Youth Orchestras, as well as working with the Etobicoke Philharmonic for 20 years before retiring. He was the first conductor of the Canadian Chamber Academy and during his early years in Canada, he served as the assistant conductor of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. For several years he served as the Principal Guest Conductor of the Canton Philharmonic and Choral Society. Lai has guest conducted in Europe, North America, and Asia with, among others, the Moscow Symphony, the Ural State Philharmonic, the Vancouver Symphony, the Windsor Symphony, the Niagara Symphony, the Shanghai Philharmonic, the Taiwan Symphony, the Beijing Symphony, Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra of Bulgaria. In addition to his work with the Canadian Sinfonietta, Lai currently teaches violin, viola, and conducting in the Toronto area.