Praised by the Seattle Times as “poised yet passionate,” Julia Tai is one of today’s most dynamic young conductors on the international stage. Currently, she is the Music Director of the Missoula Symphony Orchestra and 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), Lexington Philharmonic, and the Seattle Symphony.
Ms Tai has established a reputation for her creative programming and community partnerships. She has increased the esteem of her orchestras by elevating their artistic output, commissioning new works by renowned composers, and serving diverse communities. In 2017, in collaboration with Finlandia Foundation, Philharmonia Northwest celebrated Finland’s centennial by presenting Finland 100 at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, featuring three generations of Finnish composers. The concert was attended by Finland’s ambassador to the U.S. from Washington D.C. PNW has also presented an all-Taiwanese composers’ concert at Benaroya Hall in 2018, featuring musicians from all over the U.S., Canada, and Taiwan. Her orchestras have co-commissioned new works by PDQ Bach (Concerto for Simply Grand Piano and Orchestra), Mexican composer Osvaldo Mendoza (Three Mexican Portraits), Chinese-American composer Dorothy Chang (Gateways – Concerto for Erhu and Piano), and Sheila Silver (Being in Life – Concerto for French horn and Alpenhorn, 5 Tibetan singing bowls, and string orchestra).
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Ms 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” in 2004. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Washington.