Paula Fan, Principal Keyboard, has appeared as soloist and chamber musician on five continents. As one of the first recipients of the doctorate in the art of Collaborative Piano, she has been in great demand as associate artist for numerous internationally recognized singers and instrumentalists, and has lectured on the subject at educational institutions worldwide.
With her sonata partner, the late John Denman, Dr. Fan has recorded most of the masterworks of the clarinet repertoire. She has also recorded a number of the solo piano works of Dussek in editions based on early printed sources. Her latest CD, “Herein Lies the Soul,” is a collection of violin favorites recorded in London with former Tucson Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Steven Moeckel.
In addition to her concert work, Paula Fan has broadcast regularly on the BBC, NPR, Radio Television China, and other international stations. Her most recent engagements have included performances in the United Kingdom and Costa Rica, and as a longtime member of Earthwatch, monitoring the meerkats of Meerkat Manor in Africa. She is currently Regents’ Professor of Music and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at the University of Arizona.
How long have you played the piano? Fewer than 50 years.
Guilty musical secret: Sometimes when I play the electronic keyboard with the symphony, I look for strange noises. I managed to get a barking dog, a police siren and bird noises into a children's concert one year.
Most embarrassing musical moment: Once during a concert on an island near Australia, it was so cold that my husband and I asked for more heat. The man in charge threw a log on the fire, and accidentally some lighter fluid fell in. There was an explosion a few minutes later, right when we were playing!!!
What would your career be if you hadn't chosen music? I would have done something with animals.
Hobbies: I volunteer with Earthwatch, working with animals or the environment around the world.
Interesting personal fact: I've caught a wild koala by the leg.
Favorite pets: My 14 cats, and they all came from the Humane Society, Pima County Animal Care, the street, or my vet, and they are all "fixed."
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois.