Jindong Cai has been a professor of performance at Stanford University since 2004. He is the founder and artistic director of the Stanford Pan-Asian Music Festival and served as the Music Director of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra for 11 years. Over his career in the United States for more than 25 years, Maestro Cai has established himself as a conductor, a scholar, and an innovative leader for promoting music from across Asia.
Maestro Cai started his professional career with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra where he held assistant conducting positions and worked closely with Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Erich Kunzel, and Keith Lockhart. As a guest conductor, Cai maintains strong ties to his homeland and has conducted the top orchestras in China. Cai serves as the Principal Guest Conductor of the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra and the Mongolia State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet. He led the orchestra on its first concert tour and led the theater’s historical first tour to China. Cai is a three-time recipient of the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. He was the recipient of an “Asian Hero” award, given by the California State Legislature.
As a scholar, Mr. Cai has co-authored with his wife Sheila Melvin several New York Times articles on the performing arts in China and the book Rhapsody in Red: How Western Classical Music Became Chinese. Their new book, Beethoven in China, How the Great Composer Became an Icon in the People’s Republic, was published by Penguin Books in September 2015.