Cloverdale student Da-Wei Chan, 10, recently won the VSO School of Music’s annual concerto competition, which means the talented violinist will get to make his solo debut with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in its 100th anniversary season. (Submitted)

VIDEO: 10-year-old Cloverdale violinist to make solo debut with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Da-Wei Chan wins Future of Excellence concerto competition, chance to play with VSO

Violinist Da-Wei Chan will make his solo debut with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in their 100th-anniversary season, which begins this fall.

Da-Wei is an energetic performer who prefers technically challenging work to romantic pieces, and enjoys fun, playful pieces more than anything else — all of which makes sense, considering he is 10 years old.

The talented musician who recently won the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) School of Music’s Future of Excellence concerto competition is about to finish his Grade 5 year at Diamond Elementary in Cloverdale.

By winning the concerto competition, Da-Wei has earned a chance to play with the VSO, which is “huge,” explained his violin instructor Carla Birston, string department chair and string ensembles director at the VSO School of Music.

Birston has been Da-Wei’s teacher since he first picked up the instrument at five years old. The fact that he has won the Future of Excellence concerto competition and will get to play with the VSO is incredible, she said.

She describes Da-Wei as a “rare” student, a “beam of sunshine” who never has a negative attitude.

After 33 years of teaching, Carla has seen many situations where talented young musicians are pushed too hard, resulting in an embitterment towards their craft. This isn’t the case with young Da-Wei.

“What makes Da-Wei so special is that he loves every minute of it,” she said.

The date of Da-Wei’s performance is not yet determined, but when it is, and the piece is selected, Birston will work with him on preparation. Her advice to him ahead of his solo debut, is to “keep on laughing. Just bring that positive, positive attitude.”

“We at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music are so very proud of Da-Wei Chan’s fabulous success,” said Angela Elster, vice-president of the VSO School of Music and community programs. “Da-Wei represents all in which we believe.”

The one-of-a-kind opportunity given to students through the concerto competition has helped launch musical careers, said Elster. It’s “life changing.”

Audiences love having the chance to listen to young performers, she said. “Many winners have received standing ovations from sold-out audiences, and we have received feedback from concert-goers that they were simply astounded by the caliber of the young musicians, and felt privileged to get to hear these stars in the making.”

For the competition, Da-Wei played the third movement of Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor.

Bruch’s concerto is complex and technically challenging, explained Da-Wei’s dad, Siong.

“He could have done more of a romantic piece, but the problem is, he’s too young. He’s not able to bring out emotion,” he said. “Pieces that we tend to choose for him now are technically very challenging but not so big emotionally. He doesn’t understand lost love and —“

“—mostly energetic!” said Da-Wei, piping in about his preferred music. “And hyper! And adrenaline pumping!”

Da-Wei doesn’t have a favourite violinist, and finds it difficult to choose one favourite composer. He enjoys Fritz Kreisler’s show pieces and Felix Mendelssohn’s compositions. Mozart’s not really his style.

The Max Bruch concerto he played is “quite challenging,” said Da-Wei.

“It’s very fast and it gets you to work your fingers a lot to hit every note. There’s this one part, kind of at the beginning, that I struggled with. It was like a octave but then it was tenths. I couldn’t make it all the way up — like eight tenths in a row. I found that hard.”

After months of practicing, he “managed to get it proper,” he said.

This year was Da-Wei’s third time entering the concerto competition. He said it felt “pretty good” to win the competition, although he admitted it was bittersweet, as he was going up against students that he knew, and he would have liked to see them win, too.

He’s not sure how to describe how he feels about his solo debut with the VSO. “I’m excited. Like medium excited, because it’s not there yet.

“It’s my first debut and I’m just a kid so I’ve never experienced this kind of big opportunity.”



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Surrey needs 350 more cops, activist tells council

‘Right now we are 350 police behind what our population requires,’ politicians are told

Surrey’s Flamingo ‘closing forever’ following final concert in February

Whalley venue reopened under new management in January 2018

The science of edible photographs on shortbread bisquits: A Surrey artist talks

Sylvia Grace Borda at Science World a week after her art show opens at KPU

Delta bans clothing donation bins citing safety concerns

Owners have until Jan. 29 to remove the bins, after which the city will charge them for the removal

Illegal dumping, homeless camps in South Surrey ‘not out of the ordinary’ for city

Land owner believes 2018 Whalley cleanup pushed the problem south

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of Brunette overpass

Dash cam footage shows a vehicle speeding across a Lower Mainland overpass

Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar

A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash

Lower Mainland teacher resigned after ‘inappropriate discussions’ with elementary students

Tracy Joseph Fairley resigned from Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows district April 23, 2018

Feds poised to bolster RCMP accountability with external watchdog

Long-anticipated move is the latest attempt at rebuilding the force following years of sagging morale

Canada needs a digital ID system, bankers association says

The Department of Finance last week officially launched its public consultation on the merits of open banking

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Most Read

l -->