David Lai (Co-President) is an original founder of Park Avenue Artists. David has worked on management teams for a variety of artists including Joshua Bell, Itzhak Perlman, Renee Fleming, 2CELLOS, Kate Davis, Ashley Brown, Ryan Silverman, and Eldar Djangirov.
A Grammy® award winner, six time Grammy® nominee, and Emmy® award winning producer, David's recording credits include recordings ranging from jazz to classical to pop to Broadway. His Broadway cast albums produced include West Side Story(Grammy® Award), The King and I (Grammy® nomination) starring Ken Watanabe and Kelli O'Hara, Evita starring Ricky Martin, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes starring Megan Hilty, South Pacific (Grammy® nomination), Promises, Promises starring Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth, (Grammy® nomination), Bonnie and Clyde, Elf, Wonderland, Grease, The Wedding Singer, an all-star cast album of Allegro, and Spanish cast albums of The Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar. Other Artist recordings include Joshua Bell, Placido Domingo, Lang Lang, Eldar (including the Grammy®-nominated album, Re-imagination), Josh Groban, Renee Fleming, Itzhak Perlman, Nathan Gunn, Ashley Brown, Megan Hilty, Kristin Chenoweth, Audra McDonald, Howard McGillin, and Laura Benanti.
David also was the A&R Executive for the Grammy®-winning Songs of Joy & Peace (Yo-Yo Ma) and Grammy®-nominated Bach in Havana (Tiempo Libre). David has served as a Consultant Producer for many PBS specials including Live at Lincoln Center's broadcasts featuring Renee Fleming and Joshua Bell, Joshua Bell's HBO YoungArts special, Renee Fleming's Christmas in New York program, and Lang Lang’s upcoming New York Rhapsody. He also served as A&R Executive and Music Director for the 4TROOPS.
David has conducted many symphony orchestras including Dallas, Fort Worth, Pacific, Taipei, Jacksonville, and the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra. Television appearances include The Today Show, GMA, The View, and CBS This Morning. As a music director/pianist, David has appeared at: the Rainbow Room, Caramoor Festival, CBGB's, and the Bottom Line. David also headed up A&R and served as a producer to Sony Masterworks for classical, jazz, and Broadway recordings.
David currently moonlights as Music Director and Conductor for the Broadway company of The Phantom of the Opera. Other Broadway credits as conductor, music coordinator and/or keyboardist include Fiddler on the Roof, King and I, Evita, Mary Poppins, Wonderland, South Pacific, Miss Saigon, The Woman in White, Riverdance, Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Misérables, and Aspects of Love. David is currently working on the upcoming productions of Cats and Come From Away.
David received BAs in Engineering, Economics and Music from Brown University, and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Columbia University.
Ross Michaels (Co-President) is an original founder of Park Avenue Artists, a record producer and artist manager having worked with a range of artistic talent in various genres.
Following stints as a vocal coach, producer, and mixing engineer for a series of projects, Ross became head of studio operations at Planet2Planet Studios in Midtown. Ross' experience in the studio resulted in working on various project compilations as a producer and engineer for many major and independent labels across the board (Sony, Universal, Warner).
Simultaneous to Ross' early days as a record producer, Ross also began working as a junior agent in New York for a boutique agency booking events and shows across various genres of music at many major venues.
Ross' experience as a music producer runs the gamut having worked with top 40 acts, creating the title music for The New Yorker podcast, to developing all the music for Shaun T's fitness program Cize with Jordan Battiste. Working alongside Jordan Battiste, Ross has expanded his interests in film and commercial work, directing and producing national TV commercials for brands like Celsius health beverage.
Ross continues to expand his interests in the presentation arena, being commissioned as a talent buyer and artist curator for brands such as Google(Google's I/O Conference), Hewlett Packard, Jim Beam, Maxim and asked to be a speaker for the TedX series. Additionally, Ross is actively working with the Park Avenue Artists team and Madison Square Garden, providing talent for the New York Rangers.
With a professional profile that underscores his knowledge and understanding of many key features of the music industry, Ross teamed up with David Lai to create Park Avenue Artists (PAA) in 2011.
Since the formation of PAA, Ross and David have been responsible for introducing many artists to the entertainment industry including; 2CELLOS who began as a viral sensation and toured with Elton John; YEBBA an acclaimed artist and vocalist whose features and associations range from Tribe Called Quest to Sam Smith; Broadway Stars Ryan Silverman and Ashley Brown who are also regulars on the symphony circuit headlining venues such as Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center. PAA also manages internationally acclaimed Grammy® Award-winning and Sony Masterworks recording artist violinist Joshua Bell, the innovative Universal Music Classics trio Time for Three, and the prize-winning young pianist Daniela Liebman.
Ross enjoys furthering the careers of PAA's roster by helping create and produce large scale projects such as Joshua Bell's Virtual Reality demo with Sony Playstation, an original live music video for YEBBA in partnership with Apple Music, and Joshua Bell’s new sampler instrument that is available for all Digital Audio Workstations.
Ross has a BA in Music and Political Science from Drew University and very much enjoys Wheat Thins.
executive vice president
Matthew Zelle (Executive Vice President) brings to his new post more than a decade of experience in worldwide artist management. He began his career with Columbia Artists Management, Inc. (CAMI), working alongside such prestigious opera singers as sopranos Hei-Kyung Hong and Anna Netrebko; mezzo-sopranos Denyce Graves and Frederica von Stade; and bass Samuel Ramey. After joining IMG Artists LLC, Zelle rose to the position of Senior Vice President, managing a roster of five internationally recognized artists –Joshua Bell, legendary flutist Sir James Galway, the nine-time Grammy® Award winning Emerson String Quartet, soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and pianist Conrad Tao, among others.
A native of Iowa, Zelle developed his passion for the business side of music at Clarke University in Dubuque, IA, where he was awarded a B.A. in Music, with a Business minor. Internships with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, NY and at the Kennedy Center in Washington led him into arts administration. Upon graduation, Zelle was offered a position at CAMI and moved to New York. In the eleven years he spent at IMG Artists, he held a variety of posts, eventually becoming one of the youngest vice presidents in the company’s history. Zelle maintains a close connection with Clarke University, which in 2014 named him the winner of its Rising Star Award, presented by the University's Alumni Association for alumni 35 years of age and younger who have made an impact in their career.
Jordan Battiste (Special Project Director) hailing from Jamaica, Queens, New York, attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia Highschool of the Arts and the Performance Arts and Five Towns College. He would pursue his passion for the music industry at Planet Studios, NYC, where he would harness his production and performance skills as a singer songwriter and music producer.
Jordan has appeared on MTV’s P. Diddy’s StarMaker, procured placements on various film and TV projects such as Step UP 3D, MTV’s 10 on Top, and MTV’s MADE. The success of Jordan’s work on MADE lead to his appearance on the popular MTV show as a MADE Coach. Jordan was also instrumental in developing pop artist, Marco Foster, which lead to his eventual signing to multi-platinum artist, Flo Rida, and his label imprint IMG/Strongarm. Jordan concurrently joined the Hip Hop/Pop band, Pants Velour, as keyboardist/vocalist and was instrumental (pun intended) in their signing to Tommy Boy Entertainment LLC. Since then, Jordan partnered up with Ross Michaels to produce the music for Shaun T’s newest workout DVD project, CIZE.
special projects director
Ina Marija Ubaite was born and raised in Lithuania before moving to New York to pursue her master’s degree in Music Business at New York University. She came to Park Avenue Artists as an intern while earning her degree at NYU before joining full time after graduating. She has a wide range of previous work experience in the industry, both in Europe and in the U.S., including at the Jascha Heifetz Violin Competition, Berthold Records, Warner Music Group and Unison Media.
A talented and accomplished pianist, Ina began piano lessons at the age of 6, after deciding that if her older brother, who had just started lessons, was old enough to learn piano, so was she. She studied at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, where she received her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in piano performance. She also studied as an exchange student at the Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya in Barcelona. She has succeeded in many European solo and chamber music competitions, including first prize at the International Piano Competition in Moscow and second prize at the Nikolai Rubinstein International Competition in Paris.
Ina Marija Ubaite
director of artist touring
Laura joined Park Avenue Artists in 2016. Prior to joining PAA, Laura was an agent with United Talent Agency (formerly The Agency Group) where she booked a very diverse roster of artists such as Alison Balsom, Jake Shimabukuro, Jane Krakowski, Kishi Bashi, Snarky Puppy, and many more with orchestras and music venues/series all across North America.
Laura's experience encompasses several facets of the music industry, including artist management and booking, public relations, education, and performance. Laura also served as Director of Workplace Programs at Business Committee for the Arts, an organization that promotes business support of the arts which was founded by David Rockefeller. Additionally, Ms. Dunaway has held positions at Alliance Artist Management, Vantage Artists Management, ICM Artists and internships with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Interlochen Center for the Arts. Laura graduated from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University with a Master's degree in percussion performance, and earned her Bachelor's degree in percussion performance from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.
associate manager &
Cindy Liu joins Park Avenue Artists as Associate Manager/Operations Manager, assisting in a variety of daily artist-management tasks. She completed her B.A. in English & Comparative Literature and Sociology at Columbia University in May 2018, with concentrations in Eating Like a Queen and Being Outspoken.
On-campus, she co-founded the Intercollegiate Chamber Music Festival in collaboration with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, served as co-president for Columbia Classical Performers, and co-led the Formal Petition for Proprietary On-Campus Music Performance Space. Having played piano since she was six, Cindy has enjoyed performances at New York's Carnegie and Steinway Halls, Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center Concert Hall, the Music Center at Strathmore, and the Hungarian & Austrian embassies, Columbia University, Princeton University, China, Toronto, and for the family of composer Sergei Prokofiev in Paris.
Cindy completed her senior thesis in Sociology, entitled, "The Quadruple Bind: Occupational Barriers to Women in the Classical Music Industry," with plans to publish a book on the same topic, and hopes to start her own management agency championing minorities in classical music in the future. Cindy has been featured in the Columbia Daily Spectator, the Columbia College newsletter, Columbia College Senior Stories, and Columbia Global Centers | Paris.