In her second New York recital in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in September 2007, the New York Concert Review described Susan Chan as “a thoughtful musician and a sensitive player” who “brought revelations” by performing “the invaluable service of opening up new musical worlds to her audience.” The New Yorker called her “an energetic advocate for contemporary music.” Fanfare magazine and BBC Music Magazine praised her “great technical finesse” and “conspicuous refinement” in her playing on her CD recordings.
Dr. Chan performs extensively as a soloist and chamber musician, and actively promotes music from Asia and women composers in addition to the traditional repertoire. As part of her current commissioning project with award-winning Chinese-American composers Zhou Long and Chen Yi, she recently premiered Zhou’s “Pianobells” in Kansas City and Portland, the score of which will soon be released by Oxford University Press. She has performed in recitals and music festivals in the United States and Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Her performances have taken place at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, the Cultural Center in Chicago, Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Dartington International Summer School in the UK, Chopin’s birth house in Zelazowa Wola, Steinway Halls in London and Tokyo, as well as the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall. She has appeared as soloist with the Dnepropetrovsk State Philharmonic in Ukraine, Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra in Indiana and Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra.
The numerous prizes she has received in competitions include first prizes in the Hong Kong Young Musicians Award Competition and the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition, winner in the Mozart Piano Concerto Competition at Indiana University, and finalist in The American Prize in Piano Performance 2011. She was also awarded the Diploma of Excellence in Piano Performance by the World Piano Teachers Association in 2011.
Her CD discography includes her latest recordings East West Encounter I and East West Encounter II on the MSR Classics label, which feature pieces by western and contemporary Asian composers.
Dr. Chan is an active masterclass teacher, presenter and adjudicator. She has conducted masterclasses at universities and schools of music on four continents. She has lectured and performed at the European Piano Teachers Association’s 2009 and 2011 World Piano Conferences as well as conferences of the Music Teachers National Association, Music Educators National Conference, College Music Society, and the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities. She has also published in Women of Note Quarterly. She has adjudicated at competitions of the Seattle International Piano Festival, the MTNA competitions in Washington and Oregon States, the Performing Arts Festival on the Eastside in Bellevue, Washington, the Vancouver Music Festival in Canada, and competitions in Hong Kong and Japan. Her students have won awards from the Seattle International Piano Competition, Bösendorfer International Piano Competition for Amateurs, MTNA Young Artist Competitions, Musicfest Northwest Festival, and the PSU Concerto Competitions.
Dr. Chan holds a Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University and MPhil and BA degrees from the University of Hong Kong. She also pursued postgraduate studies at Yale University and holds the Fellowship and Licentiate Performance Diplomas from Trinity College of Music, London, UK. Her major piano teachers include György Sebök and Menahem Pressler. She is currently an Associate Professor of Music and Piano Area Co-Coordinator at Portland State University, where she has received the Faculty Enhancement Award, the Civic Engagement Award, and other grants and awards in recognition of her creative and scholarly work. She is also a recipient of a Project Grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council, a Career Opportunity Grant from the Oregon Arts Commission, and a Community Engagement Grant from the College Music Society. She is listed in the 2000 edition of International Who's Who in Music and Musicians Directory.