Adjunct Assistant Professor of Strings
BiographyThe Taiwanese-American violist Che-Yen Chen has established himself as an active performer and educator. He is a founding member of the Formosa Quartet, which received the First Prize and the Amadeus Prize at the 10th London International String Quartet Competition. The First Prize winner of the 2003 William Primrose International Viola Competition and the President Prize of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, Chen has been lauded by Strad Magazine as a musician whose “tonal distinction and essential musicality produced an auspicious impression” while the San Diego Union Tribune described him as an artist whose "most impressive aspect of his playing was his ability to find not just the subtle emotion, but the humanity hidden in the music."
The principal violist of the San Diego Symphony and Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Chen has appeared as a guest principal violist with Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra. Formerly of Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two and a participant of the Marlboro Music Festival, he is a member of Camera Lucida, Concertante Chamber Players and The Myriad Trio, which just released its debut album The Eye of Night. Chamber music festival appearances include the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music International, La Jolla Summerfest, Seattle Chamber Music Society and The Taiwan Connection. Summer of 2013 will inaugurate the Formosa Quartet’s Formosa Chamber Music Festival in Taiwan.
Chen currently serves on the faculties of both the USC Thornton School of Music and California State University, Fullerton. Previously he also taught at Indiana University South Bend, UC San Diego, San Diego State University and McGill University. Other pedagogical activities include participation in programs such as National Youth Orchestra Canada, Interlochen, and Mimir Festival. He has given masterclasses at the Taipei National University of the Arts, National Taiwan University of Arts, University of Missouri Kansas City, UC Santa Barbara and The Juilliard School. As a laureate of the Primrose International Viola Competition, Chen was invited to serve on the jury in 2011.
A native of Taipei, Chen is a four-time winner of the National Viola Competition in Taiwan. He came to the U.S. in his teens to matriculate at the Curtis Institute of Music and later The Juilliard School, studying with such luminaries as Michael Tree, Joseph de Pasquale, Karen Tuttle, and Paul Neubauer.