Lam holds a B.A. degree in piano performance from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (1976). She obtained a scholarship from the University of California at San Diego, where she studied composition with Bernard Rands, Robert Erickson, Roger Reynolds, and Pauline Oliveros, earning a Ph.D. in 1981.
In 1981, she was invited to join the music faculty of the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, where she taught until 1986. She has also served as the Jean MacDuff Vaux Composer-in-Residence at Mills College in Oakland, California, and in 1997 she served as a visiting professor of composition at Yale University and at Bennington College in Vermont.
- New Music in China and The C.C. Liu Collection at the University of Hong Kong Jingzhi Liu, Georg A. Predota. University of Hong Kong. University Libraries - 2005. ISBN 978-9622097728. "Given the greater prominence of a number of Chinese composers such as Tan Dun, Chen Yi, Chen Qigang, and Lam Bun-ching (Lin Pinjing), the field of New Music in China has in recent years finally received the .."
- Edward Davis Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture Page 437. 2005. "1954, Macao Composer Lam Bun-ching, composer, pianist and conductor, challenges cultural boundaries by ... Her contemporary chamber opera Wenji: Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute, which premiered at Asia Society in New York in 2002, ... It is accompanied by a mixed orchestra of Chinese and Western instruments and sung in Chinese and English, with the latter language being reserved for the 'barbarian' Mongols."