Yao Guang Zhai

Valade Fellow, Clarinet

About Yao Guang

Yao Guang Zhai is currently the Principal Clarinet at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he was the Associate Principal Clarinet at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Zhai is the winner of the Hellam Competition, Aspen Music Festival Concerto Competition, the Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition, the Pacific Symphony Concerto Competition, and the Spotlight Award.

As a soloist, he performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and the American Academy of Conducting Orchestra in Aspen, among others. He has also performed at the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, Aspen Music Festival, Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire Music Festival, Laguna Beach Chamber Music Festival, the Beijing International Clarinet Festival, and the Toronto Summer Music Festival.

A native of TaiYuan, ShanXi, Yao Guang Zhai began his musical studies at the age of three on the violin, and then switched to clarinet at age 10. He studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California, and The Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Upon graduating from The Curtis Institute, Yao Guang Zhai was the principal clarinet of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra for two seasons.

Performance Diploma, Curtis Institute of Music