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Biography

Born in British Hong Kong, David Ho-yi Chan (陳浩貽, b.1992) is a London-based composer, conductor and organist. Along profound interests in exploring harmonic syntax, his aesthetics seeks to enrich the beauty of simplicity and exemplifies solid practical writings with a clear sense of direction building and consistency by integrating both contemporary and traditional concepts.

With music broadcasted on BBC Radio 3, RTHK Radio 4, Hong Kong Cable Television and Now TV (Hong Kong), his former collaborators and commissioners include BBC Radio 3, BBC Singers, Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, Choir of St Pancras Church, Musicus Society, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, Hong Kong Oratorio Society, Hong Kong Strings, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Hong Kong Children’s Choir, Yat Po Singers, RTHK Quartet, Romer (String Quartet), Hong Kong Youth Windophilics etc. He has previously worked with Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Composers Scheme 2018/19, and players from BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra.

Since undergraduate studies, Chan's music has been performed and screened across the UK, Hong Kong and other countries, such as the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music (2017-19), Musicus Fest (2017), Brandenburg Choral Festival of London (2017), "Asia - Europe" New Music Festival (2016) and Asian Composers League Festival & Conference (2015, 2016). In 2014, Chan presented his work at the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) World Music Days in Poland, and turned to be the youngest Hong Kong composer representative in this prestigious forum to date.

Chan is a versatile choral artist and composer. He was appointed the Juror for the British Composer Awards 2018 (Choral Category), the Honorary Member of the Association of Croatian Choral Directors (2018), the Emerging Composer at the Florence Choral (2017), and awarded the title ‘World Youth Choral Artist’ by World Youth and Children Choral Artists’ Association (2015). In 2014, Chan was invited to conduct the background choir for Rolling Stones in Macau during their world tour concerts. In 2018, Chan attained 3rd place - Freundeskreis Brauweiler Prize at the Musica Sacra Nova: 14th International Composers Competition in Germany. The awarded work is published by Schott Music. He is also commissioned by The Esoterics as their annual Polyphonos: International Composer (2018/19), and C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective in New York for the 2020-21 IGNITE Commission.

In international choral competitions, choirs keep on achieving exceptional results with works by Chan. Notably with his two winning commissions, Marymount Secondary School Choir became the first champion from Hong Kong at the widely acclaimed Béla Bartók 27th International Choir Competition (2016, youth choir category), and the winner of secondary school girls’ choir (intermediate - Chinese) at the 71st Hong Kong Schools Music Festival (2019) respectively. The premiere of his “By Chance” also brought the victory to the Guangdong University of Technology Male Choir at the 5th Guangdong University Student Art Exhibition (Choral, 2017) and first class award at the 5th National University Student Art Exhibition (Choral, 2018) in China. Latest commission for the Heep Yunn School Choir was featured at the 12th World Choir Games (2023).

Supported by the Elsie Gertrude Martin Award (2016), Henry Wood Accommodation Trust (2016), Jebsen & Co. Choral Arts Youth Scholarship (2015) and CASH Music Scholarship (2015), Chan graduated from the Royal College of Music where he obtained a Master of Composition under the tutelage of Joseph Horovitz and Kenneth Hesketh, and studied organ with Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin (Saint-Sulpice, Paris) and David Graham (Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street).

Being precursor of Asian Director of Music at the Church of England, Chan served at the John Keble Church during his study in London. As organist, he visited renowned churches in the UK, including Southwark Cathedral, Chichester Cathedral, St. Martin-in-the-Fields etc. His former organ students include organ scholar at the Oxbridge. On the Remembrance Day in 2023, he led the Choir of St. Mary's with Christ Church, Wanstead for the choral evensong at the Southwark Cathedral, as the first known (East) Asian Director of Music at the Church of England to serve a cathedral service in London.

(Updated on 21st January 2024)

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