Photo: Shevaun Williams
Recognized as one of Musical America’s 30 Innovators of the Year, Adrian Fung is an award-winning cellist, educator, and arts executive. As Senior Vice President of RCM Learning Systems at The Royal Conservatory, Mr. Fung oversees the continuing development of the RCM’s comprehensive system of music study which provides integrated curriculum and assessment to hundreds of thousands of students, teachers, and music schools each year. Mr. Fung manages all activity related to the maintenance of curricula, training, and certification of teachers and examiners, printed and digital learning assets, and provision of examinations.
Most recently, he served as Associate Dean and Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma’s Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts. Along with his administrative duties working with the five schools in the College, Mr. Fung led the creation and launch of arts management and entrepreneurship programs (AME) at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The graduate AME program is offered in collaboration with Price College of Business and includes formal training in creative and business concepts, international internship opportunities, and a ground-breaking International Arts Incubator. In his capacity as tenured associate professor, Mr. Fung’s research included digital innovation, new artistic revenue and revenue-sharing models, and the impact of entrepreneurial training within formal higher education. Mr. Fung is also the Executive and Artistic Director of the celebrated presenting organization Music In The Morning, which presents a year-long concert series as well as Summer Music Vancouver, a summer festival and chamber music institute in downtown Vancouver, Canada.
As the founding cellist of the critically acclaimed Afiara Quartet, Mr. Fung is a winner of the Concert Artist Guild International Competition, Young Canadian Musicians Award, 2nd prizes at the Munich ARD and Banff International String Quartet Competitions, and the Szekely Prize for Best Interpretation of Beethoven. Le Devoir praises “their intrinsic class, their panache, and their expressive intensity” and La Presse calls the quartet “a revelation”. A JUNO-nominated artist and producer, his projects have been featured by Forbes and CBC Music in each of their Top 10 Albums of the Year and praised by Toronto Star as “one of the most attention-grabbing shows of the year.” Mr. Fung has performed over 600 performances in extensive tours worldwide including such storied stages as Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, Austria’s Esterhazy Palace, the Library of Congress, Kennedy Center, Munich’s Prinz Regenten Theatre, the Royal Library in Copenhagen, and London’s Wigmore Hall. As a soloist, he has been critically acclaimed for his “virtuosic” playing (San Francisco Classical Voice), his “superb” and “brilliant” performance (New York Concert Review), and as a “consummate interpreter of the composer’s message” (Ontario Arts Review). As a soloist and guest artist, he has appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall and with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, and DJ Kid Koala.
Previously, Mr. Fung served as Vice President for Innovation at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, where he led the TSO’s activities in artistic, social, and economic innovation. His work included leading a $10-million budget which saw the launch of a year-long, nationwide Signature Initiative Project reaching an audience of over 14.5 million via 50 orchestral commissions and over 40 partner orchestras nationwide. He also created a new multi-camera e-learning platform with self-directed angle toggling, bringing to life over 20 live, full-orchestra video and audio recordings.
Mr. Fung earned a Bachelor of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory, the Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School, and an MBA from the University of Toronto. Featured in Fortune magazine among the Best and Brightest Executive MBAs, he has taught business strategy widely, including The Banff Centre, HEC Montreal School of Business, and Orford Arts, among others. Aside from his teaching at The Juilliard School as a teaching assistant to the celebrated Juilliard String Quartet, Adrian has been invited to teach and lead masterclasses at schools internationally, such as Escola de Música do Estado de São Paulo, Indiana University’s Summer String Academy, San Francisco State University, the Yehudi Menuhin Seminar, Chamber Music of the Rockies, Southern Ontario Chamber Music Institute, Orkester Efterskolen in Denmark, University of Alberta, Oakville Suzuki Institute, Stanford University, University of Toronto, and the Royal Conservatory of Music. Mr. Fung served as jury member of the Eckhardt-Gramatte National Competition, ECM Generation National Award, and the Banff International String Quartet Competition.
Mr. Fung’s cello teachers include Bonnie Hampton, Joel Krosnick, Fred Sherry, Antonio Lysy, David Hetherington, and Susan Gagnon. He plays on a cello made in 1787 by Benjamin Banks, on lifetime loan to him from an anonymous donor.