Guochan Chen


Mr. Chen was born in Taishan, Guangdong Province, and began his studies in Chinese Folk/Traditional music in 1972 with his brother, Guoshe, a famous musician who lives in Brazil.

In 1977, he entered the Xinghai Conservatory of Music, graduated with honours in 1987, and was invited to teach in the same Conservatory where he later received his academic degree of concert-master.

In 1980 he was 3rd place winner in the “2nd Yang Cheng Music Festival – Gaohu Competition”, professional category, and he went on to be the 1st place winner in 1982 at the “3rd Yang Cheng Music Festival”.

In December 1986 he travelled to Hong Kong as a member of the Xinghai Conservatory of Music, to participate in a music exchange program with the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. He performed several solo pieces and acted as concert-master in a piece played by a combined Chinese traditional music orchestra.

In the spring of 1987, he was 1st place winner of Gaohu Solo, in the Cantonese Music Competition. In the summer of 1987, he gave a solo concert in the Music Hall of Xinghai.

In 1991, he played the work of “Poem on Qin” with the accompaniment of the Central Conservatory National Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Si Meng San, and gave a grand finale.

In the summer of 1992, he received an Excellence Award in the first Music Competition in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, and was regarded as the best composer in this event.

In November of 1993, he performed at the 5th Yang Chen Music Festival, which was held in Guangzhou.

In October 1994, he represented Guangdong Province at the 45th Anniversary of the Central Government, and was honoured with a special award by the Central Government.

In the autumn of 1995, he was invited to perform at the Macau Festival of Music.

In October 1997, at the 8th Festival of the Arts in Macau, he was invited to perform in a gaowu concert.

In 1998, he was a member of a group of Chinese instrumental artists from China, who accompanied the Chinese Orchestra of Macau and played in Portugal. With his famous gaowu, he performed 12 solo concerts in Lisbon, at the EXPO Pavilion, in Porto, Faro, and Coimbra and various other cities, and received many accolades from the general public.

In the summer of 2001, he gave a solo concert “From Pearl River with Love” in Guangzhou.

In 2004 and 2005, he was appointed the principal artist of erwu and gaowu instruments of the Guangzhou Traditional Music Orchestra.

Mr. Chen’s artistic level is extremely high, and the music that he produces is expressive, refined, and harmonious which, at the same time, reveals the beauty of Cantonese music. His technical skill is excellent, and his interpretation very lively. To a music critic, he is considered a perfect player of the gaowu.

Mr. Chen compiled the works “Teaching Cantonese gaowu” and “Album of gaowu music”, among others. Aside from his responsibilities in teaching music, he was actively participating in grand concerts in China. He achieved immense success and was considered a “great representative” in the area of Cantonese music in the ‘90s. Many of his works can be found in cassette and CD stores in Hong Kong and China, which are widely recognized by the public.

He immigrated to Canada in 2007 and, in Toronto, he founded the “Toronto Chinese Music School”, which specializes in the teaching of Chinese instruments, particularly the gaowu and erwu, among others. In recent years, in Toronto, he was one of the main drivers in spreading traditional Chinese music and, in particular, the erwu and gaowu.  Given the popularity of traditional Chinese music, he performed in various cultural events in Toronto, and in other parts of Canada, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, etc.