YaoGuang Zhai is the Principal Clarinet with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra appointed by Maestra Marin Alsop in 2016. He is also the Associate Professor of Clarinet at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
A native of Tai Yuan, China, YaoGuang began his musical pursuit at the age of three on the violin, switched to the clarinet seven years later. He studied at the China Central Conservatory in Beijing, the Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild California, and then the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. YaoGuang was instructed by many distinguished clarinetists, including: Yehuda Gilad, Donald Montanaro, Ricardo Morales and Joaquin Valdepeñas.
After graduation, he held position as Principal Clarinet at the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in China for 2 seasons, and as the Associate Principal Clarinet with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra appointed by maestro Peter Oundjian for 5 seasons.
Along with his solo appearances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, YaoGuang has performed with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (China), Toronto Summer Music Festival Orchestra, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, the American Academy of Conducting Orchestra (Aspen) and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra.