D Kai Ma – Chorus Master and Rehearsal Pianist

Kai 1Born in Tainan, Taiwan, D. Kai Ma is currently the chorus master and rehearsal coach for Pellegrini Opera. He is also one of the rare counter-tenors in the classical music world.

In 2000, when participating as a tenor in performances of the Taipei Capital Opera Company, the renowned tenor William Wu and his wife, pianist Minato Meibi accidentally discovered his rare gift in falsetto and suggested that he shifts to counter-tenor singing. Since 2001, D. Kai Ma has been an active counter-tenor singing a wide variety of pieces and solo concerts. After immigrating to Ottawa in 2003, he was engaged by the Ottawa Bach Choir and the Choir of the Christ Church Cathedral as a soloist, and has collaborated closely with prominent early music groups.

D. Kai Ma graduated from Shih-Chien University in 1993 with a major in tenor singing. He then went to Germany to study German and art song performance. Since 1996, he became active in Taiwan’s classical music scene, leaving his traces on the solo and opera stage. In 1998, he won 3rd prize in the Robert Pace International Music Competition. In 1999, he became the choral director of the Taipei Capital Opera Company. He was a long-time radio host of the programs “Musical Banquet” of the Central Broadcasting Company and “Wings of Songs” of the Kaohsiung Radio Station.

After immigrating to Canada in 2003, in addition to studying with top international counter-tenor Daniel Taylor, D. Kai Ma took classes with performers such as Laurence Ewashko and Michel Schrey. Soon after, he was selected by the Cantata Singers of Ottawa and Opera Lyra Ottawa to perform with their respective chorus, and thus often participated in concerts at the National Arts Centre of Canada. In addition to his solo concerts and oratorios, he was invited to perform in the Gala of Ottawa Asian Heritage Month Society, as well as diplomatic events organized by the Taiwanese Embassy.

D. Kai Ma has collaborated with many international classical musicians, such as Daniel Taylor, Peter Harvey, Charles Daniels and Katherine Fuge. Among these performances, many of them have been broadcasted on CBC musical programming.

In the summer of 2005, he returned to Taiwan for a solo recital tour. In the spring of 2007, he performed in four major Canadian cities with famous organist Matthew Larkin. In 2007, he toured Europe with the Ottawa Bach Choir, where he had a solo performance in Bayreuth, Leipzig, Vienna, and Salzburg. In the summer, he collaborated with guitarist Meng-Feng Su in the concert tour of “Dialogue Between Voice and Guitar”, with a program from cultural renaissance to pop cross-over, covering the main languages and musical schools of continental Europe. From 2008 to 2009, D. Kai Ma participated in several performances of the oratorio Messiah both in English and German. He also collaborated with Taiwanese artists in a solo concert tour “Enchantment of Baroque Music” in four major Taiwanese cities and performed with guitarist John Oliver in Vancouver. In 2012, he sang two recitals “L’Invitation au voyage” with harpist Chi-Mei Hung in his hometown.

Most recently, D. Kai Ma has been working in opera production and training. In 2012, he conducted La Traviata with Pellegrini Opera as his operatic conducting debut. He continued to conduct the company’s Il Barbiere de Siviglia (2013), L’Elisir d’Amore (2014) and La Bohème (2015).

In 2017, D. Kai Ma joined Bytown OperAntics’ production “Mozart Madness” as music director.

You can learn more about Kai here.