Jindong Cai 蔡金冬

Director, US-China Music Institute 美中音乐研习院院长

US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music Director Jindong Cai.jpg

Conductor Jindong Cai is the director of the US-China Music Institute and professor of music and arts at Bard College. He is also academic director and associate conductor of The Orchestra Now (TŌN). Prior to joining Bard he was a professor of performance at Stanford University. Over the 30 years of his career in the United States, Cai has established himself as an active and dynamic conductor, scholar of Western classical music in China, and leading advocate of music from across Asia.

Cai started his professional conducting career with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, where he held assistant conducting positions and worked closely with Music Director Jesús López-Cobos, Conductor Keith Lockhart, and Cincinnati Pops Conductor Erich Kunzel. He has worked with numerous orchestras throughout North America and Asia. Cai maintains strong ties to his homeland and has conducted most of the top orchestras in China. He has served as the principal guest conductor of the China Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra since 2012. In 2015, he led the Shenzhen Symphony on its first tour to the American West Coast, performing in Palo Alto, San Jose, Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The concerts included collaboration with the San Francisco Opera on the premiere of a scene from Bright Sheng’s much anticipated new opera, Dream of the Red Chamber.

Cai is a three-time recipient of the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. He has recorded for the Centaur, Innova, and Vienna Modern Masters labels. He has close relationships with many Chinese composers and has premiered or performed new works by Tan Dun, Zhou Long, Chen Yi, Bright Sheng, Ye Xiaogang, and Wang Xilin, among others. In recent years, a number of professional orchestras have approached him to create special programs of works by Chinese and other Asian composers, including the “Celebration of Asia” concert with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in 2016.

Cai has received much critical acclaim for his opera performances. In 1992, his operatic conducting debut took place at Lincoln Center’s Mozart Bicentennial Festival in New York, when he appeared as a last-minute substitute for his mentor Gerhard Samuel in the world premiere of a new production of Mozart’s Zaide. The New York Times described the performance as “one of the more compelling theatrical experiences so far offered in the festival.” Cai serves as the principal guest conductor of the Mongolia State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet in Ulaan Baatar. Since 2011, he has visited Mongolia a dozen times to conduct opera and ballet performances, and led the theater’s historical first tour to China in 2013.

Cai joined the Stanford University faculty in 2004 as director of orchestral studies and conducted the Stanford Symphony Orchestra for 11 years. He led the Stanford Symphony Orchestra on three international tours—to Australia and New Zealand in 2005; China in 2008, as part of the Beijing Olympic Cultural Festival; and Europe in 2013. In 2013, Cai launched “The Beethoven Project,” for which the Stanford Symphony Orchestra performed all nine Beethoven symphonies and all five of the composer’s piano concerti—featuring Van Cliburn Gold Medal–winning pianist and Stanford alumnus Jon Nakamatsu—in one season. Cai is also the founder of the Stanford Pan-Asian Music Festival. Over its 11-year history, the festival—which is dedicated to promoting an appreciation of music in contemporary Asia through an annual series of concerts and academic activities—has become one of the most important platforms for the performance of Asian music in the United States.

As a scholar and expert on music in contemporary China and Asia, Cai is frequently interviewed by news media around the world, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, and NPR. Together with his wife Sheila Melvin, Cai has coauthored several New York Times articles on the performing arts in China and the book Rhapsody in Red: How Western Classical Music Became Chinese. Their latest book, Beethoven in China: How the Great Composer Became an Icon in the People’s Republic, was published by Penguin in September 2015.

Born in Beijing, Cai received his early musical training in China, where he learned to play violin and piano. He came to the United States for 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


蔡金冬在辛辛那提交响乐团开始他指挥生涯,担任助理指挥。 他与音乐总监耶稣·洛佩兹·科沃斯,指挥基思·洛克哈特和辛辛那提流行乐队指挥家艾瑞克·库尔策尔都曾有合作。他曾指挥过大部分中国顶级交响乐团:2012年担任中国深圳交响乐团的首席客座指挥;2015年,他率领深圳交响乐团首次赴美国西海岸巡回演出包括帕洛阿尔托,圣何塞,西雅图,洛杉矶和圣地迭戈,与旧金山歌剧院合作,首演著名作曲家Bright Sheng 新歌剧《红楼梦》。

蔡教授曾三次获得ASCAP现代音乐奖。他曾为Ceaur,Innova和Vienna Modern Masters唱片公司录制过唱片并许多中国作曲家合作。他曾首演过谭盾,周龙,陈毅,盛生,叶小刚,Wang Xilin等作曲家的作品。近年来,他与一些专业交响乐团合作并创立了一系列以中国及其他亚洲作曲家为主题的专场音乐会,包括2016年与西雅图交响乐团合作举办的“亚洲庆典”音乐会。


蔡金冬教授2004年加入斯坦福大学,并在斯坦福交响乐团任职11年。他带领斯坦福交响乐团参加了三次国际巡回演出 - 2005巡演澳大利亚新西兰;2008年作为北京奥运文化节的一部分,巡演中国; 2013年,蔡教授发起了“贝多芬计划”,斯坦福大学交响乐团演奏了所有贝多芬交响曲以及作曲家钢琴协奏曲中的全部五首作品。 同年,蔡教授创办了斯坦福泛亚音乐节。在过去10多年中,通过每年一系列的音乐会和学术活动促进了当代亚洲音乐的理解和欣赏,音乐节已成为亚洲音乐表演最重要的平台之一。


蔡教授生于北京,在中国接受早期的音乐培训,会演奏小提琴和钢琴。他来到美国,毕业于新英格兰音乐学院和辛辛那提大学音乐学院。 1989年,他与Tanglewood音乐中心的着名指挥家Leonard Bernstein一起学习,并在1990年和1992年的Aspen音乐节上获得指挥奖。