Theodore Chan

Double Bass

Theodore Chan

Age you began playing: 14

Year you joined the TSO: 2012

Why did you choose to be a professional musician? I chose to be a professional musician because of the joy and excitement in being able to create and share art with others. When the conditions are perfect and the conductor, composer, musicians, and audience come together, the sum is larger than its parts and the result is life-changing!

Most memorable experience performing with the TSO: My first concert with the TSO performing Don Juan with Sir Andrew Davis was a real dream-come-true. I had won the TSO audition just one month prior and being in the midst of all that sound and energy whilst sitting on stage at Roy Thomson Hall was exhilarating!

What is interesting to you about working in an orchestra? Every day is different with an orchestral job; the repertoire, colleagues, and conductors make the TSO a dynamic and enjoyable place to work.

What wisdom would you impart to students and aspiring musicians? There are many challenges on the path to becoming a professional musician but if it is really is your passion then it is ultimately rewarding in the end. Stick with it and always aspire to improve!

If you were not a full-time musician, what would you be? I would like to be a beer purchaser for a major grocery or liquor corporation.

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Musician Biography

Ottawa native Theodore Chan joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra bass section in 2012. Prior to the TSO, Mr. Chan spent two seasons as Assistant Principal Bass at the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, following the completion of a Graduate Certificate in performance at the University of Southern California (USC). While at USC, he also earned his Master of Music degree under the tutelage of Los Angeles Philharmonic bassists Dennis Trembly and David Moore. He received his Honours Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Ottawa studying with David Currie.

Mr. Chan maintains a diverse and busy performance schedule, having performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Santa Barbara Symphony. He has played at the invitation of the British High Commissioner of Canada, the Canadian Prime Minister, and the Governor General of Canada, as well as the Orquestra de la Communidad Valenciana at the invitation of Maestro Zubin Mehta.

As a Fellow at the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, Mr. Chan has worked with classical luminaries including conductor Riccardo Muti and bassists Milan Sagat (Principal, Vienna Philharmonic), Klaus Stoll (Principal, Berlin Philharmonic), and Harold Robinson (Principal, The Philadelphia Orchestra). While taking part in the National Arts Centre’s Summer Music Institute, he worked with renowned bassist Joel Quarrington and the orchestra’s Music Director, Maestro Pinchas Zukerman.

In 2008 Theodore Chan was awarded a commendation from the City of Los Angeles for his “extraordinary commitment to the great tradition of classical music” and his “dedication and service to the City.” Amidst many engagements, Mr. Chan remains committed to teaching and maintains a private teaching studio.

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