Ray Chen

Ray Chen (born 6 March 1989) is a Taiwanese-Australian violinist. He was the first prize winner in the 2008 International Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition and the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Competition.

Ray Chen
Born (1989-03-06) March 6, 1989 (age 31)[1]
Taipei, Taiwan
Years activeSince 1997
Ray Chen
Traditional Chinese陳銳
Simplified Chinese陈锐


Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Chen began learning violin at the age of four. Within five years he completed all 10 levels of the Suzuki Music Education (Suzuki method) in Brisbane, Australia. Chen was invited to play solo with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of eight. He was also invited to perform at the opening celebration concert of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

Chen was chosen as Australia's 4MBS's "Young Space Musician of the Year" in 1999. He was awarded by the Sydney May Memorial Scholarship of the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) for being the youngest and most talented musician. Chen was awarded his Licentiate Diploma of Music with distinction by the AMEB at age 11. At age 13, he won first prize in the Australian National Youth Concerto Competition (NYCC), and in 2005 won first prize in the 2005 Australia National Kendall Violin Competition.[2] Professor Goetz Richter, chair of the String Unit at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music has described Chen as "one of the most talented and accomplished young violinists to have emerged from Australia."[3][citation needed] His violin teachers have included Kerry Smith and Professor Peter Zhang (Sydney Conservatorium). Chen graduated with a bachelor of music degree in violin performance under Aaron Rosand at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

In the summers of 2006 and 2007, Chen attended the Encore School for Strings, studying under David Cerone at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2008 he attended the Aspen Music Festival on a full tuition fellowship, studying with Cho-Liang Lin (Juilliard School) and Paul Kantor (Cleveland Institute of Music).

In April 2008 Chen won the senior division first prize of the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists in Cardiff, Wales. (In 2004 he had won jointly the third prize of the junior division in that competition.[4]) Chen then came to the attention of Maxim Vengerov, who served on the competition jury, and was engaged for performances including debuts with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra in Saint Petersburg and at the International Rostropovich Festival with the Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra in Baku, under the baton of Vengerov.[citation needed]

Following his success at the Menuhin Competition, Chen won the first prize of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, Belgium, bringing him numerous concert engagements, a recording, and a three-year loan of the "Huggins" Stradivarius from the Nippon Music Foundation. He was the competition's youngest participant. As Grand Prize winner, he was immediately launched on a concert tour, performing with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic (DeFilharmonie) under Jaap van Zweden and Aldert Vermeulen, the National Orchestra of Belgium under Rumon Gamba, and the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra under Emmanuel Krivine, as well as in recitals throughout Belgium.[5]

Chen was signed by Sony Classical in 2010.[6] He has recorded the César Franck Violin Sonata, the violin concertos of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Felix Mendelssohn, and more.

Chen won the Newcomer Award in the 2011 Echo Klassik Awards.[7] He was invited to perform at the annual Nobel Prize Concert in 2012, playing Max Bruch's Violin Concerto in G minor with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.[8]

In April 2016, he was the youngest juror ever of the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists in London, with Pamela Frank, Joji Hattori, Martin Engstroem, Ning Feng, Julia Fischer, Dong-Suk Kang, Tasmin Little and Jeremy Menuhin.[9]

In November 2020, he led the performance to open the Golden Horse Awards ceremony.[10]

After the short-term loan of "Huggins", he was lent the 1715 "Joachim" Stradivarius from the Nippon Music Foundation until 2019. As of October 2019, he is the recipient of the 1735 "Samazeuilh" Stradivarius loaned by the Nippon Music Foundation.[11]

Chen is also known for his online presence. He has created videos on his eponymous YouTube channel pertaining to violin playing, and has collaborated multiple times with the YouTube classical musicians comedy duo TwoSetViolin.[12]


  • Ray Chen, Timothy Young (2010). Stravinsky: Diversions - Music for Violin & Piano (CD). Melba Recordings. ASIN B004AB2F44.
  • Ray Chen (2011). Virtuoso (CD). Sony Classical. ASIN B004EKP61K.
  • Ray Chen, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Harding (2012). Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos (CD). Sony Classical. ASIN B005UKH7F6.
  • Ray Chen, Christoph Eschenbach, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Orchestra (2014). Mozart: Violin Concertos, K. 216 & 218; Violin Sonata, K. 305 (CD). Sony Classical. ASIN B00DBO1YTS.
  • Ray Chen, Yuja Wang, Lionel Bringuier, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra (2016). Ravel: Complete Orchestral Works (CD). Deutsche Grammophon. ASIN B01A72FW94.
  • Ray Chen (2018). The Golden Age (CD). Decca. ASIN B07BN6QCF6.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Channel, The Violin (6 March 2020). "Today is Australian VC Artist Ray Chen's 31st Birthday! [ON-THIS-DAY]". The World's Leading Classical Music News Source. Est 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Australia National Kendall Violin Competition". Archived from the original on 20 April 2008.[failed verification]
  3. ^ The Kendall National Violin Competition for young Australian violinists[failed verification]
  4. ^ Laureates Archive – Prizewinners since 1983, Menuhin Competition
  5. ^ "Ray Chen wins Queen Elisabeth Competition". Flanders News. VRT NEWS. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  6. ^ "New Sony signing: Ray Chen". Gramophone. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  7. ^ "Artist Biography" (PDF). Echo Klassik.
  8. ^ "Ray Chen plays Bruch Violin Concerto 1st Mvt at Nobel Prize Concert in 2012". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  9. ^ 2016 Jury, Menuhin Competition
  10. ^ "2020 GOLDEN HORSE/The 2020 Golden Horse Awards". Focus Taiwan. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Recipients of Instruments". Nippon Music Foundation (in Japanese). Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  12. ^ "10 ways the 2010s changed classical music forever". Classic FM. Retrieved 7 February 2020.

External linksEdit