NL Prominent Speaker Series: Jason Lai

The National Library regularly host renowned speakers from the arts, heritage, technology and social sciences sectors to share with the wider community and to exchange ideas. Organised by the National Library, this event was held on 28 October 2016. This guide accompanied the talk given by Jason Lai on the topic “Musical Passions”.



The speaker for the topic is Jason Lai.

Jason Lai (b. 1974), a Singapore-based British citizen, is the principal conductor of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Orchestra and the associate conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

Trained musically from the age of 11, Jason was awarded scholarships to study the cello and composition at Chetham’s School of Music and Oxford University respectively. He completed his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was awarded the Fellowship in Conducting.

Jason’s early accolades include winning the BBC Young Conductors Workshop in 2002 and thus clinching the post of assistant conductor to the BBC Philharmonic. He has conducted various orchestras around the world, including the New Japan Philharmonic, Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

A man of many hats, Jason is also adept in front of the camera as a broadcaster. He was the presenter for Heart of Asia, a BBC series about the contemporary arts and culture scene in Asia. Previously, he was on the panel of the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition and was a judge for the BBC2 classical talent show, Classical Star. In 2015, Jason also presented Project Symphony, an eight-part television series by Singapore’s Okto channel, which follows Jason’s journey of forming and conducting a community orchestra in Singapore.


These resources are drawn from the collections of the National Library.


Books and Ephemera



  • Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. (2005). Singapore: Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music; National University of Singapore.
    Call no.: RCLOS O1109
    Ephemera includes brochures, flyers and booklets on the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music as well as its courses and activities.


Newspaper Articles





Note: Microfilm reels are available at level 11 of the National Library.


How to access databases on NLB’s eResources (


The National Library Board’s eResources are free for all NLB members. To access the databases listed below, you must log in to the eResources website using a myLibrary ID.

For more information, please visit












  • Tan, B. (2016, September 9). My weekend. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva.





  • Chor, P. C. (2014, March 5). Shui Lan. Singapore Infopedia.


  • Koh, A. (2014, March 3). Lynette Seah. Singapore Infopedia.


  • Koh, A. (2014, March 3). Lim Yau. Singapore Infopedia.



  • Neo, T. S. (2010). Choo Hoey. Singapore Infopedia.







  • Lee, D.; Singapore Symphony Orchestra & Television Corporation of Singapore. (1995). Life story (5.8.95) [Video recording]. Singapore: TCS.
    Call no. : RSING 782.42163095957 LIF


  • MediaCorp TV12 Singapore Pte Ltd.  (2003). Art nation. Episode 16 [Video recording]. Singapore: MediaCorp TV 12 Singapore
    Call no.:
    RSING 700.95957 ART


  • Shostakovich, D. D.; Zhu, H.; Liang, R. & Singapore Symphony Orchestra. (1989). Symphony no. 10 in E minor, op. 93. [Sound recording]. Singapore: Philips Singapore Ltd.
    Call no.: RSING 785.11 SHO


  • Stravinsky, I.; Cao, J.; Singapore Symphony Orchestra & Singapore Broadcasting Corporation. (1986). SSO concert and chorus [Video recording]. Singapore: Singapore Broadcasting Corporation.
    Call no.: RSING 780.43 SSO





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Written by Mervin Teo