Born in Hong Kong and raised in New Zealand, Ray Chan was the First Prize winner of the 2012 Graz International Conductor’s Mastercourse Competition in Austria. He graduated with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music as the Henry Wood Scholar in Conducting under Sian Edwards in 2016, and was appointed Conducting Fellow of Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra for the 2016/2017 season serving as Assistant Conductor to Music Director Giordano Bellincampi.
Apart from the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Chan’s collaborations have seen him work with New Zealand and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, English National Opera, Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra (RAMSO), Berlin Echo Ensemble, Orchestra of the Music Makers, and New Mozart Orchestra – the latter with whom he served as Assistant Conductor for the 2015/2016 season. Versatile on the symphonic stage as in the operatic pit, Chan has directed and assisted in productions including La Traviata, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Walton’s The Bear. He has also been mentored by leading conductors such as Yan-Pascal Tortelier (whom he served as assistant with RAMSO), Paavo Järvi, Christoph von Dohnányi, Neeme Järvi, Mark Wigglesworth and Eiji Oue, amongst others.
Chan is the founding Artistic Director of GoodEnsemble – a professional freelance orchestra based in central London dedicated to the vibrant, relevant and high-quality promotion of classical music. Under his directorship, the orchestra delivered two full season of concerts and was named Ensemble in Residence for the annual London Bloomsbury Festival. He also serves as Principal Conductor of Gen Y Philharmonic – New Zealand’s new and socially engaging orchestra dedicated to reinvigorating the concert experience to attract younger demographics into the concert hall.
At the age of 20, Chan debuted with Haydn Sinfonietta Wien as the youngest finalist in the 2011 Internationaler Meisterkurs für Dirigenten before returning to Austria to conduct Graz Kammerphilharmonie a year after. He graduated cum laude from Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore as a full scholar in 2013 where he studied Orchestral Conducting under Jason Lai and Chan Tze-law, and Piano Performance under Albert Tiu. He was also the Conservatory’s inaugural Europe Scholar to study at Conservatoire de Lausanne in Switzerland under Pascal Godart. In 2012, he was appointed Assistant Conductor of Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Orchestra and was involved in projects such as the recording of Mahler’s Second Symphony (released on the OMM Live! label) along with Singapore Sun Festival’s Gala Concert with Paolo Olmi and tenor Jose Carreras. He was offered one of only two places to study at the Royal Academy of Music after an international audition selection process in 2014.click to download images