As an emerging organist, Zoe Kai Wai Lei is an advocate of new organ music and frequently plays twentieth and twenty-first century repertories. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she is currently based in the United States and has performed in various venues in Hong Kong, Toronto and Oregon. In July 2018, she performed in the renowned festival, Oregon Bach Festival. In April 2017, she gave her debut as an organ soloist in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and was interviewed by Radio Television Hong Kong to promote the organ and was regarded as the “New Music Star”.
Starting from 2018 Winter, Ms. Lei will prepare a concert series of “Mendelssohn Marathon” at Toronto Bloor Street United Church. This concert series features the complete works of Mendelssohn’s organ sonatas and will be performed in 2020 Winter. She also recently performed at Tafelmusik, Beach United Church and performed as a continuo player at the Church Redeemer. Apart from appearing as an organ soloist, she was the organist for the New Music Ensemble and performed pieces by Bruce Mather and Gubaidulina. Since September 2017, she has worked as an organ scholar at Toronto Bloor Street United Church and organist at Toronto Chinese Baptist Church.
Ms. Lei has appeared as an organ soloist and a collaborative and formed a piano-organ duo with Nancy Li in March 2018. They have performed Handel’s Organ Concerto Op.4 No.6 in B-Flat Major at Hope United Church in April 2018 and received great appreciations from their audiences. This duo makes recordings and gives performances regularly.
Zoe Lei is currently doing her Doctor of Musical Arts in sacred music (Organ) at the University of Michigan, where she studies the organ with Prof. James Kibbie, the continuo with Prof. Joseph Gascho and the carillon with Dr. Tiffany Ng. She finished her second-year master’s studies in organ performance at the University of Toronto, under the tutelage of Professor Kevin Komisaruk, after having studied with the renowned Hong Kong organist, Kin Yu Wong. She completed her undergraduate studies in organ and music education at Hong Kong Baptist University in June 2017. She has also received coaching from Dr. Paul Jacobs, Head of Organ Department, The Juilliard School and Prof Todd Wilson, Head of Organ Department, Cleveland Institute of Music. She has also received scholarships from the Macau Government and the University of Toronto. In addition to organ playing, her favorite pastime activities are writing calligraphy and playing badminton.