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Musician's Spotlight - Julia Tai

Julia Tai conducting an orchestral concert.
Jonathan Qualben Photography https://jonathanqualben.com/
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Jonathan Qualben Photography
Julia Tai

Julia Tai, Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia Northwest conductor and musical director, and the Co-Artistic Director of the Seattle Modern Orchestra visits with host John Floridis to discuss her musical journey from violinist to vocalist to conductor, her early childhood in Taipei and what it was like to take over the MSO at the dawn of a worldwide pandemic.

She also goes deep on the nuances of fine coffee and the best beer to enjoy by the fireplace.

Praised by the Seattle Times as “poised yet passionate,” Julia Tai is quickly becoming one of today’s most dynamic young conductors on the international stage. Currently, she is the Music Director of Missoula Symphony Orchestra & Chorale, Philharmonia Northwest, and the Co-Artistic Director of the Seattle Modern Orchestra. Her career has led to acclaimed performances and rehearsals with the American Youth Symphony, Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic (Czech Republic), Brandenburger Symphoniker (Germany), Estonian National Youth Symphony (Estonia), New Symphony Orchestra (Bulgaria), Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM (Mexico), Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil Charlos Chávez (Mexico), and the Seattle Symphony.

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Julia Tai began her violin studies at age four and piano at eight. She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where she was awarded “Outstanding Graduate.” She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Washington. She studied conducting with Peter Erös and Jorge Mester, and has participated in masterclasses with Marin Alsop, JoAnn Falletta, Neeme Järvi, Daniel Lewis, Gustav Meier, Otto-Werner Müller, Jorma Panula, and Larry Rachleff.

John Floridis, the host and producer of Musician's Spotlight, has been with Montana Public Radio since 1997. He has interviewed over 200 musicians during that time. He is also an independent recording and performing artist in his own right and a former registered music therapist.