mathematician to musician
Wah Keung Chan has a history of leadership and innovation that dates back to his days at Vanier College, where he founded the Vanier Math Club (1983) and the Vanier Math Competition, for which he received a Vanier Student Life Award upon graduation.
At McGill University, where he obtained an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, he received the lifetime Scarlet Key Award for his leadership on campus and for co-founding The Live Wire, a news journal for electrical engineering students. He subsequently helped re-invigorate the Scarlet Key Society by starting the university's regular participation in the Terry Fox Run.
Despite his academic pursuits (graduate degrees in mathematics, one from Concordia University and another from the University of Michigan as well as a degree in music, specializing in voice, from Concordia) Wah Keung remained involved in various community activities.
In 1996, while working on his doctorate in mathematics at the University of Montreal, he identified a need in the classical music community which he felt compelled to fill. In September of the same year, he brought his sense of volunteerism, his publishing experience, and passion for classical music to focus on his most ambitious project yet, the publication of a free classical music magazine, La Scena Musicale.
To this day, Wah Keung continues his role as publisher and editor-in-chief of the magazine and La Scéne Musicale (LSM), the non-profit charitable organization which he founded twelve years ago. More recently, he expanded LSM's mission of promoting classical music by launching an all-English magazine, The Music Scene (for readers outside Quebec) and the award-winning website La Scena Musicale Online (www.scena.org) which is recognized as one of the world's leading classical music websites and portals. In September 2007, a quarterly publication, La SCENA, was launched and is currently Montreal's only arts and culture magazine.
Since 2003, Wah Keung Chan has been a Juno Awards jury member (Classical Vocal and Choral Category). Recently, he received an Honourable Mention at the 2006 National Magazine Awards (Arts and Entertainment Category) for his critical profile of Montreal Symphony Orchestra's conductor, Kent Nagano. The article, "The Nagano Mystique," was published in the December 2006/January 2007 issue of La Scena Musicale (Vol. 12.4). Read the article in its entirety.
Wah Keung Chan's latest accolade comes directly from the Vanier College community as the honouree for the 2008 Vanier Big Band Benefit Concert (April 14, 2008). "I am very honoured and touched to receive this recognition," says Wah Keung. "The mentorship I received at Vanier helped shape my strong sense of leadership and the idea that I could make a real difference through my initiatives." You can view highlights from the Benefit Concert in a video clip web page. Click here.
THIS JUST IN: Wah Keung recently wrote an in-depth article on Ruth Fazal's journey to composing the beautiful Oratorio Terezin, which played to tremendous acclaim at Place des Arts on May 8, 2008. The article was published in the June 12th edition of La Scena Musicale. To read it in its entirety, just click here.