Dr. Yi-Ju Lai is a talented pianist from Taiwan who has enchanted audiences with her captivating live performances and radio broadcasts around the world. Her talents have graced prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and the National Chiang Kai Shek Cultural Center, home of the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan.
Yi-Ju has had the privilege of learning from some of the greatest pianists of our time, including Menahem Pressler, Leon Fleisher, and Byron Janis, to name a few. When she’s not performing, she loves collaborating with other musicians and has performed with notable artists such as Ronald Leonard, Paul Coletti, and Anne Akiko-Meyers.
Along with her passion for performing, Yi-Ju is a dedicated music educator. She was a faculty member at Center Stage Strings in Three Rivers, California, where she coached chamber music and performed concerts with exceptional colleagues. Yi-Ju has also made guest appearances at the Beethoven Festival in Santa Barbara.
Yi-Ju’s professional training is a testament to her hard work and dedication. She studied under the guidance of the esteemed John Perry, earning a bachelor’s degree and an Artist Diploma from The Colburn School’s Conservatory of Music, as well as a master’s degree from the University of Southern California. She has since obtained her doctorate degree at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where she studied with Jeffrey Kahane, Kevin Fitz-Gerald, and Norman Krieger.
In recognition of her dedication to teaching, Yi-Ju was selected as one of the top piano teachers in 2022 by Steinway. Currently, she serves as the chair of CAPMT District IX Sonata/Sonatina Competition and is a staff pianist at The Colburn Conservatory of Music while also maintaining a private piano studio in Los Angeles. Not only is Yi-Ju a fantastic pianist and music educator, but she is also a friendly and approachable person who enjoys meeting new people and sharing her passion for music.