BORN OF THAI-CHINESE ETHNICITY, Adrian Anantawan began the violin at nine, and has since established himself as “a rising star in classical music” (Globe and Mail). In 2001, he was accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music with a merit-based full scholarship, and completed his bachelor degree under the tutelage of Ida Kavafian and Yumi Ninomiya Scott. During past summers, he also studied with Pinchas Zukerman as part of the NAC Young Artists Program in Ottawa, and Itzhak Perlman at Shelter Island, NY. He also holds a Masters Degree from Yale University, studying with Peter Oundjian.
Adrian has performed extensively in Canada as a soloist with
the Orchestras of Toronto, Nova Scotia, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Montreal, Edmonton
and Vancouver. He has also presented feature recitals at the Aspen Music
Festival, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and the White House. His proudest
moments have included performances for the late Christopher Reeve and Pope John
Paul II. He has also represented Canada as a cultural ambassador in the 2006
Athens Olympics, and was a feature performer at the Vancouver 2010 Winter
Olympics Opening Ceremonies. His 2010/2011 includes collaboration with violinist
Anne-Sophie Mutter as part of a ten-city European tour, with performances in the United States and Canada.
In 2006, he was nominated for a Juno for his work on the children’s album, “A Butterfly in Time” (Marco Polo Records) and is a 2009 inductee into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame. Other honours include winning the Rosemary Kennedy International Competition and the CBC Galaxie Award.
Adrian is a key proponent of the disabled arts, as he was born without a right hand. He is a national spokesperson for the War Amps of Canada, and the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Center. Active within Canadian media, his documentary “Adrian Anantawan: The Story Behind the Notes” is currently being broadcast across the country by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Active within his community, Adrian helped to create the Virtual Chamber Music Initiative at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Centre. The cross-collaborative project brings researchers, musicians, doctors and educators together to develop adaptive musical instruments capable of being played by young person with disabilities within a chamber music setting. Currently in its second year, the initiative has helped transform the lives of children with Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Rett Syndrome. The project will end with a performance of the VMI with the Montreal Chamber Orchestra in November, 2011.
As an educator, he is currently a faculty member of the
National Arts Centre Young Artists Program, teaching in its pre-college
division since 2008. Along with pianist Bryan Wagorn, he created the CODA
Project, a program aimed at training young musicians (ages 12-18) to implement
outreach presentations to the Ottawa community. Last spring, he finished his M.Ed Harvard Graduate School of Education, researching the role of
adaptive musical instruments within a UDL curriculum. This September, he will serve as the conductor the Dudamel Orchestra at the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston, MA.