Born in Taiwan and raised in South Africa, Tzu-Fan began violin lessons at the age of eight. In 2005, he began his studies at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town, with Farida Bacharova, where he won the Concerto Competition on two occasions. He then studied with Natasha Boyarskaya at the Royal College of Music, completing his master’s in 2011.

During his undergraduate years, he was the leader of the University of Cape Town symphony and string orchestra, as well as the Stellenbosch International Music Festival symphony orchestra. He has played at the Beethovenfest in Bonn as a member of the South African National Youth Orchestra, as well as the Aldeburgh Festival in the Britten-Pears Orchestra.

Tzu-Fan is an active chamber musician, and has performed as a member of the Strubenholm Trio (clarinet trio), which won the overall prize in the 2008 Stellenbosch National Ensemble Competition, and also the Cape Town Quintet (clarinet quintet) who won the chamber music category of ATKV Musiq Competition that same year. He has also performed as the leader of the Aiur Quartet at the Chilingirian Mozart Festival at the Royal College of Music in 2011.

Throughout his development as a performer, he has participated in masterclasses with violinists Philippe Graffin and Daniel Rowland, and worked with conductors Herbert Blomstedt, Vladimir Jurowski, and Bernhard Haitink.

Other than music, Tzu-Fan enjoys taking short trips to foreign cities and exploring the local food cultures on foot.


Royal College of Music
London, UK

University of Cape Town
Cape Town, South Africa

Quickfire Questions

If you could play another instrument, what would it be?
Clarinet or oboe, can’t decide which one. One is like the night, the other like a sunny day.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
Restaurateur. I love food and I would want everyone to enjoy the great food in my restaurant.

What is your most embarrassing or amusing musical moment?
I was leading a church gig orchestra in Cape Town, conducted by the composer of the pieces. He was beating like a metronome. The final chords were supposed to have rests in between them, but I played the chords consecutively (during the rest), and I guess I could blame his large flailing beats during the rest… but alas, that was highly embarrassing and I got a death-threat stare from the composer as it happened.