Che-Yen Chen

Taiwanese-American violist Che-Yen Chen has established himself as an active performer and educator. He is a founding member of the Formosa Quartet, recipient of the First-Prize and the Amadeus Prize winner of the 10th London International String Quartet Competition. Since winning the First-Prize in the 2003 William Primrose International Viola Competition and the “President Prize” of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, Chen has been described by the Dallas Morning News as a musician who “played with silken finesse, and with elegant singers’ feelings for timing, shape, color and articulation” and by San Diego Union Tribune 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.”

Having served as principal violist of San Diego Symphony and the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, he has appeared as guest principal violist with Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada. 

A former member of Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two, and participant of the Marlboro Festival and the Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia, he is also a member of Camera Lucida and The Myriad Trio. Performing in chamber music festivals across North America and Asia, Chen appears frequently at the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music International, La Jolla Summerfest, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Hong Kong Chamber Music Festival, and National Youth Orchestra of Canada where the Formosa Quartet serves as faculty quartet-in-residence.

Currently teaching at University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, Chen has previously served on the faculties of Indiana University South Bend, UC San Diego, San Diego State University, California State University Fullerton, and McGill University. He has given master-classes across North America and Asia, including schools such as Taipei National University of the Arts, New England Conservatory, Rice University, Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and The Juilliard School. As a laureate, Chen was invited to serve on the jury of the 2011 Primrose International Viola Competition.

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 the Juilliard School, studying with such luminaries as Michael Tree, Joseph de Pasquale, Karen Tuttle and Paul Neubauer.

© 2016 Formosa Quartet