Dr. Sarah Chan

Coordinator of Keyboard Studies and Music Theory

Dr. Sarah Chan PhotoAn international concert artist, scholar, and educator, Dr. Sarah Chan has garnered numerous honors, including The American Prize in Piano Performance, “Rising Artist” selection by New York Concert Artists and Associates, and the PianoTexas International Festival competition prize.  As a concert pianist, Sarah Chan has performed throughout Europe, America, and Asia at such venues as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Berlin Philharmonie’s Kammermusiksaal, La Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, St. James’s Piccadilly in London, Künstlerhaus in Munich, Sala Ateneu in Romania, Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Meany Hall for the Performing Arts in Seattle, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, and Beifang Performing Arts Center and Ningxia Normal University Concert Hall in China.  As concerto soloist, she has performed with National "Mihail Jora" Philharmonic Orchestra of Bacau, Romania, New York Concert Artists Symphony Orchestra, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and Enid Symphony Orchestra.

A native of Hong Kong, Dr. Chan received her education in the U.S. and in France.  She trained musically at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester (D.M.A.), Le Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (Paris Conservatory of Music), Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University (M.M.), Manhattan School of Music (B.M.), and the University of Michigan, where she was awarded the Wolaver Award full tuition scholarship.  Concurrent with her musical studies, she pursued French and French literature studies at La Sorbonne, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan.

As a professor, Dr. Chan possesses a dynamically comprehensive background in music teaching, with university instructional experience in applied piano and keyboard studies, collaborative music, music theory and composition, music history, humanities and foreign language (French).  Currently, Dr. Chan serves as Coordinator of Keyboard Studies and Assistant Professor of Music in Keyboard Studies and Music Theory at California State University, Stanislaus.  She also holds the title of Visiting Professor of Music at Ningxia Normal University, an honor bestowed in 2015 in recognition of her contributions in international performance artistry and teaching.  Dr. Chan has taught previously at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, where she received the Award for Excellence in Teaching, and at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, where she was twice nominated for the John Barton Distinguished Teaching and Service Award.

As a masterclass teacher, Dr. Chan has engaged the instruction of professional, university, and pre-college pianists throughout the U.S. as well as in Asia.  During the summers of 2017 and 2015, she served as international artist-teacher-in-residence in Ningxia, China, teaching piano faculty and piano majors from Beifang University of Nationalities, Ningxia University, and Ningxia Normal University, as well as pre-college piano students at Yue Yan Piano Arts School and Arts Life School in Yinchuan.  Dr. Chan has additionally presented masterclasses at Florida Atlantic University, Oklahoma City University, Erskine College, Anderson College, L’Institut de Culture Musicale-Paris, Northwestern Piano Festival (OK), and the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC).   

As a competition adjudicator, Dr. Chan regularly judges for The American Prize, United States Open Music Competition, Classical Masters Music Festival, and Ghiglieri Piano Competition, along with numerous events of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT, the state affiliate of the Music Teachers National Association, MTNA) and the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC). She has moreover adjudicated for the Crescendo International Music Competition, Frances Walton Music Competition, Zeiter Piano Competition, and the Northwestern Piano Festival.  Within the state of California, Dr. Chan engages the advancement of musical culture and community through her service as CAPMT Executive Board Member-at-Large (Northern California), District V Director, and Chair of the State Concerto North Regional Competition for CAPMT, and through her recent role as juror at the 2017 MTAC California State Final Competitions in solo piano and concerto piano performance.  

In scholarly work, Dr. Chan maintains a keen research interest for musical development arising amidst distinct periods of artistic-cultural dialogue.  Topics she has engaged include the aesthetic, historical, compositional and performance analysis of contemporary Chinese piano music with relation to linguistic, artistic, and cultural influences of native Chinese and European heritages; the artistic and cultural interchange resonant in turn-of-20th-c. French and Spanish piano music; the movement of pioneer music accompanying socio-geographic and politic developments shaping the great American westward expansion of 1840-1930; and arts investment as a significant contributor to the social and economic growth of municipal, regional, and national communities.  Dr. Chan has presented at the MBAA International Conference in Chicago, Oklahoma Historical Society, East Asian Educators’ Conference of the Confucius Institute at the University of Oklahoma, Sod House Oklahoma Historical Museum, and Carnegie Arts Center.  

Passionate for the artistic inspiration, musical education, and academic enrichment of others, Sarah Chan is enthusiastic to motivate a new generation of movers and shakers in the arts and humanities, engaging the flourishing of culture wherever she is called to serve.


  • May-June 2017:  International Artist-Teacher Residency in Ningxia Province, CHINA.
  • August 5, 2017:  Original solo piano improvisations, recorded at Pyatt Hall, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music, produced by Far East Broadcasting Canada, Vancouver, B.C., CANADA.
  • September 25, 2017:  Adjudication, Classical Masters Music Festival, Folsom, CA.
  • October 26, 2017:  Presider, 2017 College Music Society National Conference, San Antonio, TX.
  • November 4, 2017:  Adjudication, Sylvia M. Ghiglieri Competition, CSU Stanislaus, Turlock, CA.
  • November 13, 2017:  Recital - Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 and presentation, “The Art of Musical Extemporization:  Keyboard Improvisation from Chorales and Cadenzas to the Contemporary”, 7:30 p.m., Snider Recital Hall, CSU Stanislaus, Turlock, CA.
  • November 17, 2017:  Recital, Lecture, and Masterclass - Charleston Southern University, Charleston, SC.
  • December 3, 2017:  Lecture - “East Asian Musical, Aesthetic, and Cultural Influence on Western Art Music, 1880-1920”, 2:00 p.m., Carnegie Arts Center, Turlock, CA.
  • December 6, 2017:  Featured Artist Interview - “An Odyssey through Cultures, Worldviews and the Musical Arts:  Perspectives from the Life of International Concert Pianist and Professor, Dr. Sarah Chan”, artist interview and presentation sponsored by the CSU Stanislaus Cultural Performances Colloquium Series, 7:30 p.m., Snider Recital Hall, CSU Stanislaus.
  • December 2017:  Concerto Performance with New York Concert Artist Symphony Orchestra, Merkin Concert Hall, New York, NY.
  • February 2018:  Adjudication, U.S. Open Music Competition
  • Spring 2018:  Piano improvisations performance, Enid, OK.
  • Spring 2018:  Concerto Performance in Europe.
  • Spring 2018:  Solo piano recital and recording, New York, NY.


Keyboard Studies

  • Applied Piano
  • Class Piano
  • Collaborative Piano/Accompanying I-II
  • Piano Pedagogy I-II
  • Piano Literature I-II
  • Piano Pedagogy III (through Spring 2016)
  • Harpsichord Literature (through Fall 2015)

Music Theory

  • 18th-c. Counterpoint
  • Form and Analysis
  • Music Fundamentals
  • Chromatic Harmony (through Fall 2016)
  • 20th-c. Techniques (through Spring 2016)

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Interdisciplinary Studies - Graduate Independent Studies Courses

  • 17th-c. English Harpsichord Keyboard Literature and Performance Practice (Spring 2015)
  • Harpsichord and Pianoforte Keyboard Technology:  Developments and Relationship to Period Music Composition and Performance Practices (Fall 2016)
  • Graduate Student Project Supervision:  student film-documentary and research paper, “Women’s Roles in Musical Life, Performance, and Composition in 17th-c. England” (Spring 2017)

Contact Information

Building Location:
Building #6 (Music Building) - See Map

Office Location:
M 42 - See Map

Phone: (209) 667-3429

E-mail: schan7@csustan.edu