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Andrew Chan

Andrew Chan

Applauded by the National Post as “a rare charisma”, Canadian harpist Andrew Chan has performed across Canada, USA, and in China as a solo, orchestral and chamber musician. For nine seasons, he performed successfully as Principal Harp with the Toronto Concert Orchestra and was demanded repeatedly to be a soloist performing concertos by Debussy (2014, 2018), Handel (2013, 2018), and Ravel (2014). Under the baton of the late Kerry Stratton, Chan was again featured in the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto during the orchestra's Ontario tour in 2017 to Toronto, Barrie, Orillia, and Cornwall. Chan performs also as Principal Harp with the Brantford Symphony Orchestra since 2008. The highlights of his solo appearances with them include the Harp Concerto by Vancouver composer Michael Conway Baker in 2018. Enthusiastic to expand the harp's repertoire, Chan works with composers closely, premiering and advocating new Canadian works. He was invited to present Canadian music in front of an international audience at the World Harp Congress 2017 in Hong Kong, premiering "Three Dances for Ocyrrhoe" by Constantine Caravassilis. Also written for Chan, Caravassilis’ Illuminatum for Two Harps and Men's Chorus was premiered in 2012 at the Harps on the Hill Festival with harpist Erica Goodman. Triptych, a collection of Chan’s original compositions, has been published and sold worldwide by Lyon & Healy Publications (Chicago). His “The Orchestral Harpist Volume 1 & 2” offer practical solutions to a wide selection of orchestral excerpts. His “Bach Revisited” features his modified versions of 7 classic Bach transcriptions for better play-ability. Inspired by the isolation during Christmas 2020, his creation and virtual-performances with 3 of his students, “Bells of the Winter Moon” for harp quartet, received significant attention on social media; it has been scheduled to be published also by Lyon & Healy Publications in late 2021. Other upcoming publications include “Mendelssohn on Harp” featuring Chan’s own transcriptions, and “Technique Builders for Harp” that offers insight to develop solid harp playing technique. As a collaboration with the Town of Richmond Hill, Chan founded the Harps on the Hill Festival to advocate the appreciation of the harp both in its performance and teaching. He is the Artistic Director and principal teacher at the Harps on the Hill School in Markham where he established and conducted the Harp Sinfonia to provide ensemble training for harp students. Since 2000, Chan’s enthusiastic pedagogy has inspired many of his students to become winners of various awards, scholarships and auditions to pursue the harp professionally. Acceptances with extensive scholarship packages have been offered to his students by prestigious universities, they include the Cleveland Institute of Music, Colburn School, Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, McGill, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Peabody Institute of Music, Temple University, and the University of British Columbia. Other acceptance offers to his students have come from the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (through national audition), Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Orchestral Institute (through international audition) and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (through provincial audition). Numerous of his students from age 3 have been awarded Honours with Distinction and Gold medals by the Royal Conservatory of Music Examination for every available Level (Grade 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, ARCT); including ones who completed the Grade 10 level by or before the age of 11. His students have been consistent audition winners for the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Oakville Symphony Youth Orchestra, and others. Three of his students were recognized by these orchestras to be featured as concerto soloists; four other students have become Certified Music Practitioner to provide therapeutic music for the bedside, hospices and hospitals. Many others have been active freelancing around Ontario. Most recently, one of Chan’s junior students has won 2nd Prize in the First Round of New York’s Little Mozarts International Music Competition (eligible to all junior instrumentalists worldwide from Age 3) . Chan’s summer visiting students have come from around Canada, Australia, China, England, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Spain and USA. Chan is grateful for his training during his student years with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific, and the National Academy Orchestra of Canada. He was a recipient of scholarship from the Canada Arts Council, and he credits his inspiration from his teachers. Those include his early studies with the legendary Alice Chalifoux (Principal Harp, Cleveland Symphony Orchestra) whom he studied with at the prestigious Salzedo School (Maine, USA), technique refinement with world-renowned harpist Catherine Michel (Principal Harp, Orchestre National de I’Opéra de Paris) in Paris, France, and with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Elizabeth Volpѐ Bligh at the University of British Columbia School of Music. Chan performs on the Signature Harp, a one-of-a-kind model made of 23-karat gold and precious Ziricote wood. It was the last masterpiece left behind by the late renowned Victor Salvi of Italy after 60 years of harp-making. Chan resides in Toronto and since the pandemic began, he has continued to share his passion in harp pedagogy with students around and beyond Canada on virtual platforms.

Instrument / Discipline

  • Harp
  • Theory

Spoken languages

  • English
  • Chinese (Cantonese)
  • Chinese (Mandarin)

Specialized in

  • Youth (7-17)
  • Adults (18+)
  • Young Children (under 7)
  • Beginner/Elementary
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Teaches At

  • At own home
  • At own studio
  • Online

Addresses

  • 18 Easton Rd, Toronto ON, CA, M2N 2L3
  • Harps on the Hill Centre, Markham ON, CA, L6G 0A5