Young people are full of curiosity and if they enjoy the learning process, they will be happy, work harder, and perform better. It is also important to challenge young people and to raise the bar of their own expectations – always making sure that we help them to meet these. Their experience working in the ECYS should help them to grow as individuals, become disciplined and responsible, gain confidence, and build a life-long relationship with classical music.

Dr. Jindong Cai

Artistic Advisor and Conductor, Senior Symphony Orchestra

Dr. Jindong Cai

Artistic Advisor and Co-Conductor of the Senior Symphony Orchestra

Co-Conductor of the Senior Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Cai received his early musical training in China, where he learned to play the violin and piano. He came to the United States in 1985 and did his graduate studies at the New England Conservatory and the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. In 1989, he was selected to study with famed conductor Leonard Bernstein at the Tanglewood Music Center, and won the Conducting Fellowship Award at the Aspen Music Festival in 1990 and 1992.

Jindong Cai has held positions as assistant conductor with the Cincinnati Symphony and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, working closely with conductors Jésus López-Cobos, Erich Kunzel, and Keith Lockhart. He led the Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra on a successful concert tour to Portugal, the only American orchestra invited to participate in the Cultural Festival of World Expo 1998 in Lisbon. He has also served on the faculties at Stanford University, Louisiana State University, the University of Arizona, the University of California at Berkeley, and the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati.

Over the 30 years of his career in the United States, Cai is recognized as a successful and dynamic conductor, devoted music educator, respected expert of Western classical music in China, and a leading advocate of music from across Asia. He is the founding director of the US-China Music Institute at Bard College Conservatory of Music.

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