Susan Chan



A familiar face in the Indianapolis music scene, Susan Chan is currently an adjunct faculty member of University of Indianapolis, a founding member of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, and a co-founder and artistic coordinator of the New Century String Quartet (with retired ISO Assistant Concertmaster Dean Franke). The NCSQ originated in San Francisco and became an UIndy resident ensemble at Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center from 1999 to 2013. Susan has performed in the US, Europe and Asia collaborating with the Oxford Quartet and Rostislav Dubinsky of Borodin Quartet/Trio, bassoonist Kim Walker, Mezzo-soprano Mitzi Westra, Gary Hoffman and the Jade Quartet, and members of the Lark Quartet, Ronen Ensemble and Scott Chamber Players; also at festivals including Princeton University New Music Series (NJ), Tanglewood (MA), Grand Tetons (WY), Tage Alter Musik (on authentic instruments in Regensburg, Germany), Music in the Mountains (CA), and Taipei International 20th Century Lyricism Festival which promoted works banned by the Nazis.

Serving as Principal Viola under conductors Seiji Ozawa and Gunther Schuller, she was twice a fellow at the Tanglewood Festival and a fellow at Institut de Hautes Etudes Musicales, Switzerland. A student of the late Abraham Skernick and Walter Trampler, she was coached by Rostislav Dubinsky, Louis Krasner, Robert Mann and Joel Krosnick of the Juilliard String Quartet. She earned a master's degree from Indiana University (Bloomington) where she also served as an Associate Instructor in Viola. In 2005-2006, Susan Chan received a Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship awarded by the Arts Council of Indianapolis. Her passion for her instrument took her to research in Italy, retracing the evolution of string instrument making and chamber repertoire, and influences by Sephardic and Islamic musicians in the 1500s, culminating in “The Glorious Viola I & II”, chamber music presentations of works highlighting the viola from the late 1500s to today. The creative renewal also inspired new commissions of string quartets amongst NCSQ collaborators - Indiana and California composers Ronald McKean, James Beckel, Peter Hansen, Christopher Rutkowski and Frank Felice.

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