A Hong Kong-based composer, Kai-Young Chan focuses on the integration of nuance, relevance, and resonance in music that converses with societies and cultures, and he is particularly drawn to the implied musicality of Chinese texts expressed through the tonal Cantonese language. His music is performed in various continents by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, PRISM Quartet, Daedalus Quartet, Mivos Quartet, and Choral Arts Initiative, among other prominent performers.
His music is presented on international stages such as ISCM World Music Days, International Rostrum of Composers, June in Buffalo, VIPA Festival, and Internationalen Ferienkurse Darmstadt. He is a winner of the Keuris Composition Prize, the Helen L. Weiss Composition Prize, the Emissary Quartet Composition Competition, Dolce Suono Ensemble Composition Competition, the Orchestra Seattle and Seattle Chamber Singers Competition, the Vocal Espoo Choral Composition Competition, among other honors.
After completing his Ph.D. in Music Composition with the Benjamin Franklin Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, he joined the composition faculty at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, currently serving as Assistant Professor. Commissions and grants from the Research Grants Council, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society, Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong, and other institutions have supported his on-going projects exploring how the text-setting constraints in Cantonese can be turned into creativity in contemporary music.