Ka Ho “Tommy” Chan, DMA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at Arizona State University, received first prize in three international online piano competitions.
Chan won first prizes at the North International Music Competition in Sweden, the International Golden Classical Music Awards and the International Grand Prize Virtuoso Music Competition in Salzburg, Austria, in 2020 and 2021.
Chan, an international student from Macau, earned a Bachelor of Music in piano performance in 2017 at Arizona State University, where he studied under Baruch Meir, associate professor at the School of Music, Dance and Theater. After receiving his master’s degree in music from Texas Christian University, Chan returned to Arizona State University to complete his doctoral studies.
“Despite the pandemic and having to take all the lessons online from Macau for over a year, Tommy has made great achievements in his career,” Meir said.
Chan said, “I had doubts about whether an online lesson could offer the same experience as in-person teaching. Although voice delivery cannot achieve the same quality as in-person teaching, Dr. Meir has provided me with an excellent experience with online piano lessons. Internet. I learned a lot in many musical aspects and interpretations of playing the piano.”
Since 2013, Chan has been sponsored by the Bureau of Cultural Affairs in Macau for his studies abroad and received many distinguished scholarships and awards. Participate in master classes and international festivals such as the Schlieren International Music Festival in Italy and the White Knights International Piano Festival in Russia.
Chan began his musical studies at the age of seven. In 2007 and 2008, he studied with Jun Yang, a former head of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. He won first prize at the Chinese National Piano Competition in Guangzhou at the age of twelve, made his debut concerto with an orchestra at the age of fourteen, and played “Yellow River”. Piano Concerto. In the same year, he was accepted into the pre-college program at the Escola de Musica do Conservatorio de Macau (Macao Conservatory of Music School).
“I chose Arizona State University to pursue my music studies because of the outstanding college of music and first-class facilities,” Chan said. “Like most performance majors, I choose a school based on the teacher and I am fortunate to have studied with Dr. Meir for my undergraduate degree and now my current graduate degree. The individual experience has enriched me artistically, musically, pianist and in many other ways until I become a better musician and pianist.”
Meir said that international competitions attract students from all over the world, often requiring a higher level of performance. In the United States, he said he considers the National Association of Music Teachers competition a very strong competition because it represents top teachers and schools from all over the country.
“Students should take the competitions as part of their educational experience and as a catalyst for personal growth,” Meir said. “Competitions can be a stepping stone forward, but you have to be careful not to leave a negative impact on you if you don’t win. Use it as a source of motivation.”
Chan said the best advice he gives students interested in competition is to not hesitate to participate in any music event or competition as soon as you feel you want to be a part of it.
“No single award or award can speak for you as an artist, but the process and experience are invaluable,” Chan said.