Patty Chan was born in Toronto, and is the Music Director of the Toronto Chinese Orchestra. She has collaborated with many ensembles and organizations, including the Orpheus Choir, the Strings of St. John, Red Snow Collective, the Toronto Masque Theatre, and Tapestry Music Theatre. Patty has appeared on CBCRadio, recorded for the docudrama, “IRIS CHANG: The Rape of Nanking”, and has performed in the 2012 theatre production of “Red Snow” in Toronto and Shanghai. In May 2013, she performed in the world premiere of “The Lesson of Da Ji”, which won the Dora Mavor Moore award for “Outstanding New Musical/Opera”. Patty’s composition, “Redemption: The Chan Kol Nidre” for erhu and viola da gamba was recorded and released in September 2015. This composition was selected as one of “Best of Kol Nidre” on the Jewish cultural website, JewPop, and has been added to the archives at the Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv, a museum for the Jewish people. In November 2016, she performed in the world premiere theatre production of “Comfort”, which was also nominated for the Dora Mavor Moore award in 2017.
As part of the Chinese diaspora, Patty is actively encouraging new Canadian compositions to be written for Chinese instruments and ensembles. She believes that this is key in making these instruments relevant and meaningful both locally and internationally. Besides upholding traditional music, there must also be creation of new works in order to thrive outside of Asia.
Patty has taught erhu and Chinese music at York University, Ryerson University, and Carleton University. In 2011, Patty published “Playing Erhu – Bridging the Gap”, the world’s first erhu instruction book in English which has been sold in over 30 countries. In 2017, she published “Playing Erhu - Foundation Essentials 1”, the first in a series of graded sight reading and rhythm exercise books that complement the Central Conservatory of Music examinations. Sharing the beauty of music to a new generation and a new audience has always been her passion.