Felix Fan - Cellist

Felix Fan is a celebrated young cellist whose eclectic music making and leadership reflect a 21st-Century sensibility rare among musicians. He is a musical explorer whose journey takes him from a performance of Tan Dun’s music one day to a Dvorak Concerto the next. This superb musician – with his unique musical curiosity – has won praise as a recitalist, chamber music partner and soloist. Because of his interest in playing outside the standard repertory, Mr. Fan founded Muzik3, an eclectic concert series consisting of classical, contemporary, and improvised music. Held annually since 1998, Muzik3 attracts an enthusiastic following and is recognized as one of the West Coast’s most important contemporary and experimental music events.

This year featured his new trio (comprising Fan, pianist Andrew Russo, and percussionist David Cossin) and others performing new works by Annie Gosfield, Marc Mellits, and Phil Kline.

In the spring of 2005, Fan joined the ensemble for Theater of the New Ear, which features readings of plays by the screenwriters Joel & Ethan Cohen (Fargo) and Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), with music by Carter Burwell. The premieres in New York and London featured luminaries including Meryl Streep, Marcia Harden, and Steve Buscemi. Fan has also made guest appearances on national television with Lynn Redgrave and comedian Jackie Mason.

Upcoming events include the premiere of a piece by composer Gordon Chin, performed by Fan and Cho-Liang Lin, commissioned by the San Diego Symphony and to be recorded with the Kansas City Symphony. In the works, as well, is a new trio by David Lang, to be premiered by Fan’s group at the 2006 Muzik3 festival, and a collaboration with choreographer Karole Armitage.

Mr. Fan has worked closely with significant living composers including Oliver Knussen, Tan Dun, Hans Werner Henze, and the Swedish bass guitarist Jonas Hellborg. He has appeared in many established concert halls including: the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Rudolfinum in Prague, Budapest’s Vigado, the Palau in Valencia, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Izumi Hall in Osaka, Casals Hall in Tokyo and the Salle Cortot in Paris. He has also concertized with the Pacific, Syracuse, San Diego, Hong Kong Philharmonic and Taiwan National symphonies.

In 1997, the renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma invited Mr. Fan to join him on stage for the opening concert of the La Jolla Chamber Music Society’s Celebrity Series. Other notable chamber music collaborations have included performances with Janos Starker (one of his musical mentors) and an acclaimed tour of Taiwan with violinist Cho-Liang Lin in 1995.

An artistically successful duo, Fan and Lin reunited for a performance at Mr. Lin’s 2000 Taipei International Music Festival, which festival also featured such luminaries as Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, Leon Fleisher, and Gil Shaham. During the 2000-01 season, Mr. Fan and Mr. Lin joined the San Diego Symphony for an inspired rendition of Brahms’s Double Concerto.

Born in Boston and raised in San Diego, Mr. Fan’s prodigious talent was first recognized at the age of 4. He has studied under the eminent Hungarian cellist Janos Starker at Indiana University, with Eleonore Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California, with Aldo Parisot at Yale University, and with Boris Pergamenschikov in Cologne, Germany. In 1993, at the age of 17, he was honored at the White House by President Bill Clinton as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts.