Educator and conductor, Dr. Tony Nam-Hai Leong completed his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, in addition to a Master's in Computer Applications and a Bachelor of Music. An advocate for mental well-being and social change through accessible and lifelong engagement in music-making, he centers community engagement at the core of his work. Contributing to Canada’s vibrant music education landscape, Dr. Leong currently serves as MusicFest Canada’s Chairman of the Orchestra/Strings Division; Executive Member of the Canadian Music Educators’ Association; Past-President (2016-2018) and member of the Ontario Music Educators’ Association Board of Directors and the past co-editor of their publication, “The Recorder”; co-founding director of the Ontario Strings Association; Conn-Selmer Educational Clinician; and past member on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Music Education in Canada.
With a passion for music education at the public and post-secondary levels, Dr. Leong is an assistant professor, teaching stream at the University of Toronto Scarborough; Head of the Performing Arts Department at Sir Oliver Mowat C.I.; and an instructor at Queen’s University
Dr. Leong also conducts the University of Toronto Scarborough String Orchestra, the National Music Camp of Canada and Sir Oliver Mowat Orchestras, and previously, the Music by the Lake and Oakwood C.I. Orchestras, Korean Canadian Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Conservatory of Music Baroque, and Chamber Orchestras, and the Etobicoke Suzuki School of Music Orchestras. Dr. Leong was also a member of the Korean Canadian Symphony Orchestra as a violist for over two decades.
A clinician and presenter on string education and technology in the music classroom, Dr. Leong has also guest lectured undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Toronto, York University, and the University of Western Ontario, among other engagements across Canada and the USA. His research includes the intersections of string music education, technology, adolescents, and community music, which has been featured in various publications including the Canadian and Ontario Music Educators’ Association Journals. In addition, he has worked as a Clinician Trainer for Finale and SmartMusic Studio.
Dr. Leong studied with Paul Meyer on Violin, and Rivka Golani, Daniel Blackman, and Rennie Regehr on Viola, while studying both orchestral and choral conducting with Professors Dwight Bennett and Lori-Anne Dolloff. He has also participated in masterclasses and chamber music coaching with such eminent musicians as the Orford String Quartet, the St. Lawrence Quartet, Lorand Fenyves, Simon Fryer, and Scott St. John. In addition to private and ensemble-based training, he completed his Suzuki violin/viola training with Margot Jewell.