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Ray Chen: Virtuoso

Violinist Ray Chen talks with Brad Cresswell about his whirlwind career and the release of his debut album on Sony Classical, entitled Virtuoso.

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About Ray Chen
Winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition (2009) and the Yehudi Menuhin Competition (2008), Ray Chen is among the most compelling young violinists today. His recent performances, including debut recitals at the Kennedy Center in Washington D. C. and the Merkin Hall in New York, have enraptured both the audiences and the critics: “Ray Chen can do pretty much anything he wants on the violin” (Anne Midgette, The Washington Post). “His whole performance was out of this world” (Elise Simoens, De Standaard).

Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, Ray Chen was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music at the age of 15, where he continues to work with Aaron Rosand on expanding his repertoire. Mr. Chen plays the “Huggins” Stradivarius, on loan from The Nippon Music Foundation, and the 1721 Stradivarius known as “The Macmillan”, provided as part of the award for winning the 2008-09 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.

Mr. Chen’s performance of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto became the much-discussed highlight of the 2009 Aspen Music Festival. Maestro Vengerov, who met Mr. Chen while serving on the jury of the Menuhin Competition in Cardiff, immediately engaged him to perform with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra in St. Petersburg as well as at the opening concert of the next Menuhin Competition in April 2010 in Oslo.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Ray Chen since his triumph at the Yehudi Menuhin Competition”, says Maxim Vengerov. “Ray has proven himself to be a very pure musician with great qualities such as a beautiful youthful tone, vitality and lightness. He has all the skills of a truly musical interpreter.”

Ray Chen’s upcoming engagements include a performance with the Taipei Symphony at this year’s World Expo in Shanghai, a North American orchestral debut with the New Jersey Symphony as well as concerts with the Orchestre National de Lille, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Sydney Symphony. Mr. Chen will also be the featured soloist of the Rostropovich Festival in Moscow.

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  • Ray Chen: Virtuoso