Tony Chotem graduated from McGill University in 1971 with First Class Honours and was awarded the Dow-Hickson Fellowship for outstanding achievement. From 1967-1973, he studied classical guitar with Stephen Fentok; Montreal’s pre-eminent guitar virtuoso at that time. Between 1977 and 1979, Tony was enrolled in McGill University’s Jazz Studies Program directed by Armas Maiste, then principal keyboardist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
While in Montreal, Tony worked as a free-lance guitarist and teacher. He recorded with the CBC and with Quebec’s acclaimed rock band, Harmonium. He taught guitar in both French and English for Ecole Villa Maria, a well-established Catholic private school for girls.
Since relocating to Vancouver in 1989, Tony has continued to work both as a teacher and as a performer. He performs as a soloist as well as in his classical flute and guitar ensemble, Duo Orpheus, and with his jazz guitar ensemble, Double Helix. Performances cover the gamut from nightclubs and restaurants to recitals, concerts and festivals. As a Vancouverite, he has added composer, arranger and producer to his resume. He has produced several CDs while in Vancouver including his original jazz CD, Phoenix Rising, and his Christmas CD, Moon of Winter.
Tony teaches a wide variety of guitar styles to students of all ages and levels. Areas of study include beginner guitar, classical, jazz, rock, blues and folk. Acoustic and electric guitars are welcome. High school jazz band coaching and Royal Conservatory preparation are available. Tony has had several award-winning students including Royal Conservatory ‘gold’, ‘silver’ and ‘bronze’ medalists.
Tony’s teaching philosophy is to provide a safe, patient and informative environment that will encourage each student to discover his or her individual talent and stay on the musical path.
Lessons are available at Tony’s private studio. The studio features a quiet teaching room, a waiting room, washroom and separate entrance.
Lessons: $25 per half hour
Available: Monday through Saturday
Tony also teaches group guitar through Capilano University.
Classes: Wednesday evenings February–April and October–December.
Tony is also on faculty at the North Shore Music Academy, which operates out of St. David’s United Church in West Vancouver. Students wishing to take their lessons through the Academy can see Tony, either at St. David’s on Saturday afternoons, or at his private studio the rest of the week.