The Montclair Orchestra has selected David Chan as its first Music Director, to lead the orchestra in its 2017-2018 inaugural season. The search process began in August, with nearly one hundred candidates from all across the globe applying to lead the development of the new ensemble.
Mr. Chan is the concertmaster of the MET Orchestra in New York, where he is in his seventeenth season as leader of that renowned ensemble. Widely recognized as a brilliant violinist and one of the leading musicians of his generation, Chan enjoys a diverse career as soloist, conductor, chamber musician, and teacher. His concerts have taken him to leading stages in North America, Europe, and Asia, appearing as soloist with such conductors as James Levine and Fabio Luisi. He is highly sought after as a chamber musician, performing regularly at the most prestigious summer festivals as well as throughout the New York City area.
Chan has a history of helping new musical institutions achieve instant success. In 2008, combining his interest in wine with his passion for music, he co-founded the Musique et Vin au Clos Vougeot festival in the Burgundy region of France. As artistic director of the festival, which pairs wine tastings with first-rate musical offerings, Chan has overseen the growth of the event from a small, intimate gathering to a two-week extravaganza attracting many of the biggest international names in music, such as Yo-Yo Ma, Charles Dutoit, Joyce Di Donato, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Matthew Polenzani, Menahem Pressler, Cho-Liang Lin, Gary Hoffman, Marlis Petersen, and Ildar Abdrazakov.
As a conductor, Chan brings his long experience working in opera along with a broad knowledge of the symphonic repertoire and a fluency with the music of our own time. He has conducted at Musique et Vin, where the festival orchestra includes musicians from the Metropolitan Opera, the Berlin Philharmonic, and all the top orchestras in Paris; he also works frequently with the student orchestras at New York's Juilliard and Mannes conservatories, as well as at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. Next season his conducting engagements include l’Orchestre Dijon Bourgogne in France as well as concerts in South America and Eastern Europe, in addition to his commitments with The Montclair Orchestra.
“David has an incredible command of the intricate details of various genres of music, yet has the ability to make the music accessible and relevant to the diverse audiences The Montclair Orchestra seeks to engage,” says Andre Weker, President of the orchestra. “We are incredibly excited and proud that he has elected to help pioneer our vision as an organization, and engage new sets of audiences through his programming and collaborations with different organizations both directly in Montclair, as well as throughout northern New Jersey.”
Equally noted for his work as a teacher, Chan has been on the faculty of The Juilliard School since 2005 and the Mannes School of Music since 2015. His wealth of experience in teaching and mentoring younger players will be an enormous asset in developing an orchestra that blends professional players with students still in the process of honing their craft.
"I am deeply honored to have been chosen as the first music director of The Montclair Orchestra," says Chan. "It is always exciting to participate in the birth of a new musical organization, and our goal is to bring not only the very highest level of music-making to the suburbs, but to offer concert experiences that are meaningfully different than what you find elsewhere, and in so doing appeal to new audiences. But above all, as a resident of northern New Jersey myself, I am thrilled to have this opportunity to give back to the community."
A native of San Diego, Chan first came to international attention by winning prizes at the prestigious 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 under the baton of James Levine. A graduate of Harvard University and The Juilliard School, Chan lives in New Jersey with his wife Catherine Ro, also a violinist with the Metropolitan Opera, and their three children.