Biography

Canadian born artist, Jonathan Chan, began playing the violin and piano at the age of 4. Since making his solo debut with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra at just 8 years of age, he has gone on to perform across 4 different continents.

 

Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, Jonathan studied violin with Ms. Lawrie Hill and Professor Taras Gabora, and piano with Ms. Lorraine Ambrose at the Vancouver Academy of Music. Upon graduating from secondary school, he was awarded the Arts Bowl in recognition of his outstanding contribution to visual and performing arts. Amongst his numerous accolades and national recognitions, Jonathan is a three time Grand Prize winner of the Canadian Music Competition and has performed in many festivals across the country. Privileged and fortunate, he had the honour of performing for former Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s nationally televised retirement concert, playing for over 10 000 people and sharing the stage at the Air Canada Center with other renowned artists including Cirque du Soleil, Oliver Jones, Paul Anka, and the late legendary pianist, Oscar Peterson.

Besides performing in his home country, Jonathan has taken his music to many different platforms on the international stage. Invited by the Lord Mayor of London to perform at Trafalgar Square in celebration of St George’s Day, he has also made appearances in the Barbican Hall, Wigmore Hall, and at festivals across the UK including the City of London Festival and Richmond Concert Society. In addition to his European engagements, Jonathan has toured in China and South Africa. While delivering 7 concerts in 12 nights, he performed Waxman’s Carmen Fantasy to a capacity crowd in Cape Town’s City Hall with Maestro Richard Cock and members of the Cape Town Philharmonic as part of the cities celebration of the “Last Night of the Proms”. A double bill performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Juan Munoz and the Eastern Cape Philharmonic marked the apex of a successful tour of the African nation.

 

Jonathan’s musical journey thus far has granted him opportunities to collaborate and work with many prominent musicians including Bramwell Tovey, Edward Gardner, Andor Toth, Scott St. John, Alisa Weilerstein, the Borealis String Quartet and members of the Borromeo String Quartet, Nicholas Kitchen and Yeesun Kim. He has also recorded for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as part of their “Next” series and is a laureate of a few international violin competitions including the 5th Henri Marteau International Violin Competition where he was a semi finalist.

 

A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Jonathan studied violin with Professor David Takeno and piano with Ms. Caroline Palmer. There, he obtained his Bachelor of Music Honours degree and Guildhall Artist Master of Performance degree, graduating with distinction in both disciplines while earning the Donald Weeks Memorial Prize for achieving the highest mark in the Final Year Violin Recitals. In addition to these honours, Jonathan was also chosen as one of three finalists to perform in the Barbican Hall for the Guildhall School’s prestigious Gold Medal Competition, performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with James Judd and the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra. His achievements, while in school, garnered him recognition by the Worshipful Company of Musicians and he was awarded with their distinguished Silver Medal.

 

Jonathan has been generously supported by the Max Jaffa Violin fund, BC Arts Council, and Fluor Daniel Scholarships. He is also a three time Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award winner; an award given to the most gifted musicians below the age of 30 in Canada. In addition to his solo career, Jonathan is a co-founding member of the duo, Momento. Together with his childhood friend, the duo often branches out beyond the classical walls to explore and brave the world of jazz, popular classics and contemporary art forms. Dedicated to developing unique sounds and pushing the boundaries of the violin, Jonathan hopes to continue developing fresh ideas while bringing music to the masses.

 

Jonathan performs on the 1715 Dominicus Montagnana violin, on loan by the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.