Kai-Young Chan is drawn to assimilating elements from various Asian musical traditions as well as classical Chinese literature, Cantonese folklores and language into his concert works and film scores, through conventional classical idioms to the electronics and various forces of folk instruments. His music was performed across the continents by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Daedalus Quartet, North/South Consonance, ensemble chromoson(Austria), International Ensemble Modern Academy(Germany), Duo Kozato - D'Aronzo (Italy), Ensemble XXI(Belgium), Brno Philharmonic Orchestra(Czech Republic), Hong Kong New Ensemble(Hong Kong), among others. Festivals and conferences that featured his music include the 2014 UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Finland, Internationalen Ferienkurse Darmstadt 2014 in Germany, Risuonanze 2014 in Italy, Musicarama 2014 in Hong Kong, 2013 Chinese Composers Festival in Hong Kong, and ISCM World Music Days 2012 in Belgium.
He is the winner of champion in New Generation 2012, the Dolce Suono Ensemble composition competition, PARMA Student Composer Competition, David Gwilt Composition Prize, Audience Choice Award of the Young Musicians Performance Platform, and CASH Music Scholarships, among other honors. He also won the Speech Choir Young Composer Award for his speech choral work “East-Rail says...”, which is made a set piece in the Speech Choir Showcase in Hong Kong. His compositions and recordings are published by Edition Peters (London), PARMA Recordings, Ablaze Records, and Hong Kong Composers’ Guild.
Chan is a Benjamin Franklin Doctoral Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studies composition with Jay Reise, James Primosch, and Anna Weesner. He also studied conducting with Paul Bryan and Jonathan Coopersmith at the Curtis Institute of Music. He completed his Master of Music in composition as a student of Victor Chan at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he received his Bachelor of Arts with first class honours. He is also an active erhu artist who premiered and recorded works by living composers, and performed as a soloist in the United States, Mexico, and Hong Kong.