Claudia Chan – Bio

Hailed as the new “Ambassador for New Music” (Ottawa Citizen) and as a “powerful, expressive, and energetic pianist” (Megumi Masaki, Artistic Director, Eckhardt-Gramatte Competition), Claudia Chan was recently named a laureate of Concours d’Orléans 2016, where she was awarded the prestigious Claude Helffer prize and her premiere piece by Matthias Krüger “renk” won the Yvonne Chevillion-Bonnaud Prize, which will be presented in concerts around France in the next season.  From 2016-2019, Claudia has been named Artist in Residence of the contemporary music and keyboard departments at the famed Fondation Royaumont in France, where she will organize and present concerts, interdisciplinary projects, and masterclasses.

As first prize winner of the 33rd Eckhardt-Gramatte Competition for Contemporary Performance in 2010, Claudia performed 25 solo recitals in the 2010/11 season, including a 14-city recital tour of Canada playing the winning program of contemporary and classical piano music. During the tour, she coached young performers from Canadian universities on contemporary performance, her concert at the Winnipeg Art Gallery was also recorded and broadcast by CBC Radio 2 on Concerts on Demand and she was featured on an an episode of CBC’s Next!, selected as one of 8 up-and-coming young musicians from Canada.

She made her German orchestral debut in 2012 at the Stadthalle in Wuppertal as soloist in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, in a performance which the Westdeutsche Zeitung proclaimed was “sovereign… with exciting buildups, beautiful transitions, and fine lyricism.” Claudia has also been heard as soloist and chamber musician at the Cologne Philharmonic (Acht Brücken Festival), the musikFabrik (Cologne), the MATA Festival (New York City), the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, the New Creations Festival (Toronto Symphony Orchestra), the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Kelowna Pianoforte Festival, the Toronto Summer Music Academy, in New York City at the Mannes Institute and Festival for Contemporary Festival, and as soloist with the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, Hart House, Cathedral Bluffs and Thirteen Strings Orchestras. She has given masterclasses and workshops at the Universities of Toronto, British Columbia, Brandon, and Northwestern University to young music students. In the fall of 2013 she was also selected to give a series of lecture-recitals on the piano studies of Unsuk Chin at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, as a grant recipient of the Deutsche Akademisches Austauschdienst (DAAD). She has played in masterclasses for such renowned pedagogues as Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, John O’Conor, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Ronan O’Hara, Marc Durand, and Jon Kimura Parker and been the recipient of awards and scholarships from the Canada Council for the Arts, the DAAD, the Deutscher Musikrat, the Kunststiftung NRW, the Ottawa and Toronto Kiwanis Music Festivals, the Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association, and the Canadian Music Competitions.

Also active as a chamber musician, Claudia is a founding member of the award-winning contemporary music ensemble BRuCH and has been honoured recently with a grant from the Deutsche Musikrat as finalists of the 2016 Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, a grant from the Werner Richard – Dr.Carl Dörken Foundation as well as the 2nd prize at the Karlsruhe International Competition for Contemporary Performance. BRuCH has been featured at the Acht Brücken Festival Köln and the Zeitgenuss Festival in Karlsruhe, and recently completed their debut recording for German radio station Westdeutscher Rundfunk, and have been invited back to record with the WDR as well as make their Deutschlandfunk debut this fall. In April 2016, Claudia also joined renowned French contemporary ensemble Linea from Strasbourg, under the baton of Jean-Philippe Wurtz, for an 8 concert tour of the United States.

Her work with contemporary music has brought her into close contact with such exciting composers as Helmut Lachenmann, Hans Thomalla, Unsuk Chin, Brian Current, Alice Ho, Johannes Schöllhorn, Vassos Nicolaou, Julien Jamet, Matthias Krüger and Giovanni Biswas, of whose pieces she has often given the Canadian or world premieres.

After finishing her formative studies with Elaine Kruse in Ottawa, Claudia completed her undergraduate studies at The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory, as a Dean’s scholarship student studying with David Louie and John Perry, and her Master’s of Music at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln with Prof. Dr. Florence Millet, and graduated with highest honours from the Master’s of New Piano Music in the class of Prof. Pierre-Laurent Aimard.


(This is the complete and official biography, updated April 2016).