Skip to main content

Biography

Violin

Ray Chen is a violinist who redefines what it is to be a classical musician in the twenty-first century. With an inspiring media and online presence, his musicianship reaches a global audience and is reflected in his engagements with the foremost orchestras and concert halls around the world.

Mr. Chen was born in Taiwan and raised in Australia. He was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music at age fifteen, where he studied with Aaron Rosand and was supported by Young Concert Artists. Mr. Chen won first prize in the Queen Elisabeth (2008) and Yehudi Menuhin (2009) competitions and has since performed regularly in Europe, Asia, the US, and Australia.

Mr. Chen has performed with the London Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, and Orchestra Nazionale della Santa Cecilia, among others. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 2011. From 2012 to 2015, he was in residence at the Dortmund Konzerthaus and in 2017–18 he was a featured artist with the Berlin Radio Symphony.

Mr. Chen’s profile continues to grow: He was featured on Forbes’ list of 30 Most Influential Asians Under 30; made a guest appearance on the Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle; participated in a multi‐year partnership with Giorgio Armani (who designed the cover of his Mozart album with Christoph Eschenbach);  and performed at events such as France’s Bastille Day, the Nobel Prize Concert in Stockholm, and the BBC Proms. He launched Play with Ray, an international violin competition giving talented violinists the chance to perform Bach’s Double Concerto on stage at the Hollywood Bowl with Mr. Chen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Mr. Chen’s social media presence has allowed him to utilize modern technology to increase interaction with his audience. He is the first-ever classical musician to be invited to write a regular blog about his life as a touring soloist for Italian publishing house, RCS Rizzoli. He has been featured in Vogue magazine and is currently releasing his own design of violin case for GEWA. A Decca Classics recording artist, Mr. Chen’s debut recording for the label—The Golden Age, with the London Philharmonic—follows three critically acclaimed albums on Sony. His album Virtuoso received an ECHO Klassik Award.

Ray Chen 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.

(November 2019)