College: Head of Orchestral Performance Program; OP Classical Violin Faculty
Known as one of the most accomplished violinists of his generation, David Chan, Head of Manhattan School of Music’s Orchestral Performance Program, is also quickly making a name for himself as an elegant conductor of unusual interpretive depth. New York Classical Review wrote of a March 2019 performance of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 that “It sounded like a kinder, gentler Toscanini was running the show.” Currently in his 23rd season as concertmaster of New York’s MET Orchestra, he has also recently served as Music Director of the APEX Ensemble, with which he earned high praise for innovative and adventurous programming, and as Music Director of Camerata Notturna, one of New York City’s foremost chamber orchestras. As Artistic Partner of Mainly Mozart’s Festival of Orchestras, he has conducted the organization’s famed All-Star Orchestra, as well as an entire festival combining musicians of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony, and another series bringing together members of the MET Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra.
Increasingly in demand on the podium, Chan has had engagements in recent seasons with Belgium’s l’Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, and l’Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne in France; the Grant Park and Classical Tahoe summer festivals; the Juilliard Orchestra in New York City; and at Musique et Vin au Clos Vougeot, where the festival orchestra comprises musicians from the Metropolitan Opera, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, and all of the top orchestras in Paris. As a soloist, he has appeared under the baton of such conductors as James Levine and Fabio Luisi, with orchestras including the MET Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, and Moscow State Symphony. He is also a dedicated chamber musician who performs regularly in the New York area and at all the leading summer festivals.
In addition to his concert appearances, Chan is active as an entrepreneur and creative director. In 2008, combining his interest in wine with his passion for music, he cofounded the Musique et Vin au Clos Vougeot festival in the Burgundy region of France. During his 13 seasons as artistic director of the festival, which pairs wine tastings with music, he oversaw its growth from a small, intimate gathering to a destination event attracting many of the biggest names in classical music, including Yo-Yo Ma, Joyce DiDonato, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Matthew Polenzani, Emmanuel Pahud, Menahem Pressler, Cho-Liang Lin, Gary Hoffman, Marlis Petersen, and Ildar Abdrazakov.
A native of San Diego, Chan began his musical education at the age of four. After winning prizes at the Tchaikovsky and Indianapolis international violin competitions, he made his New York debut in 1995 at Avery Fisher Hall, and his Carnegie Hall debut in 2003, performing the Brahms Double Concerto with the MET Orchestra. A student of Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, and Michael Tseitlin, he received his Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and his Master’s from the Juilliard School. Appointed Head of MSM’s Orchestral Performance Program in 2022, he is also on the faculty of Juilliard. He lives in the New York City area with his wife, violinist Catherine Ro, and their children.
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