Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, violinist Ray Chen was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music at age fifteen where he studied with Aaron Rosand and was supported by Young Concert Artists. He plays the 1715 Joachim Stradivarius violin on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation. This instrument was once owned by the famed Hungarian violinist, Joseph Joachim (1831-1907), originator of Brahms's Violin Concerto. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in the 2011 Lunar New Year concert; these current performances mark his SFS subscription debut.
Winner of the Queen Elisabeth and Yehudi Menuhin competitions, Mr. Chen is dedicated to expanding the reach of classical music through education and social media. He is the first ever classical musician to be invited to write a regular blog about his life as a touring soloist for the largest Italian publishing house, RCS Rizzoli (Corriere della Sera, Gazzetta dello Sport, Max). In his efforts to break down barriers between classical music, fashion, and pop culture, he is supported by Giorgio Armani and has been featured in Vogue magazine.
He has appeared with some of the leading orchestras around the world including the London Philharmonic, National Symphony, and the Orchestre National de France, where he joined Daniele Gatti for the televised Bastille Day concert in Paris to an audience of over 800,000. Other recent highlights include his debut at the BBC Proms where he appeared with the BBC Symphony at Royal Albert Hall in London. From 2012 to 2015 he was a resident artist at the Dortmund Konzerthaus. In 2017-18 he is a featured artist with the Berlin Radio Symphony.
In 2017, Mr. Chen was engaged by Decca Classics for a major new recording deal and multimedia partnership. He has previously released three critically-acclaimed albums on Sony: the Echo Klassik Award-winning recital program Virtuoso, featuring works by J.S. Bach, Tartini, Franck, and Wieniawski, and the Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky concertos with Swedish Radio Orchestra and Daniel Harding. His third recording, an all-Mozart album with Christoph Eschenbach and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, was released in 2014.