Ka Nin Chan

Ka Nin Chan, composer, teacher (b at Hong Kong 3 Dec 1949, naturalized Canadian 1971). Chan moved with his family to Vancouver in 1965 and later studied composition at the University of British Columbia with Jean COULTHARD while pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. After graduating from UBC with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1976 he studied composition with Bernhard Heiden at Indiana University, receiving Master of Music (1978) and Doctor of Music (1983) degrees. He attended the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt, Germany, in 1982 and that same year began to teach music theory and composition in the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.

Chan's colourful, often Oriental-flavoured works have been commissioned and/or performed by many of Canada's top orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists, including Ottawa's National Arts Centre Orchestra, CBC Vancouver Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Thirteen Strings, the SOICÉTÉ DE MUSIQUE CONTEMPORAINE DU QUÉBEC, New Music Concerts, Esprit Orchestra, pianist Antonin KUBÁLEK, violist Rivka Golani, Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, oboist Lawrence Cherney, soprano Rosemarie Landry, and Tapestry Music Theatre (his opera Iron Road, premiered in 2001). Commissions have been funded by the CBC, Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Ontario's Department of Multiculturalism and Citizenship, and the Toronto Arts Council. Works have been published by Editio Musica Budapest, Needham Publishing and Hinshaw Music. Recordings have appeared on the Centrediscs, CBC and Summit labels.

His works are highly individual, marked by exotic textures and frequent use of non-Western instruments, particularly from the percussion family. Some carry poetic, inspirational titles such as To God of All Nations, The Land Beautiful, Treasure Pasture Leisure Pleasure, The Everlasting Voices and Ecstasy. Many have won awards, including those offered by the Vancouver New Music Society (1976), the PROCAN Young Composers Competition (1979), Hungary's Béla Bartók International Composers' Competition (1982), the International Horn Society (1982), the James Madison University Flute Choir (1988), the Barlow International Competitions (1991), the Amherst Saxophone Quartet Composition Competition (1992), and Canada's Juno Award for his work Among Friends (1993) . In 1996 he won the $10 000 Jean A. Chalmers Award for Musical Composition for his chamber work I Think That I Shall Never See..., commissioned by CBC for the ensemble Amici.

Chan is a member of the CANADIAN LEAGUE OF COMPOSERS, an associate composer of the CANADIAN MUSIC CENTRE, and a member of SOCAN.