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. He also 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. 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. His achievements, while in school, garnered him recognition by the Worshipful Company of Musicians and he was awarded with their distinguished Silver Medal.
Since leaving school, Jonathan has been working with his childhood friend, Jan Bislin, in addition to his solo endeavours. Together, the guys often branch out beyond classical music and experiment with combinations of different genres drawing influences from popular classics, rock, jazz, blues, funk, hip hop, pop and electronic music. They can often be found performing in corporate events, weddings, bars and lounges in addition to sharing their creativity online. Jamming frequently at Sofar Sounds London gigs, they have also performed for the Old Vic Theatre’s inaugural Variety Night show and the Summer Gala, working with resident musicians of the famed Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and sharing the stage with Tim Minchin, Dynamo, Gary Barlow and others. Going from competing against each other in numerous competitions to joining forces, Jonathan and Jan have formed to create a unique sound dedicated to pushing the boundaries of the violin while bringing music to the masses.
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.
Jonathan performs on the 1715 Dominicus Montagnana violin, on loan by the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.