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 Strad Magazine as a musician whose “tonal distinction and essential musicality produced an auspicious impression” 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 for eight seasons, Mr. Chen serves as principal violist of the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra and has appeared as guest principal violist with Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada. 

A former member of Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two and 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 Taiwan Connection. Summer of 2013 will commence the inaugural year for the Formosa Quartet’s Formosa Chamber Music Festival in Taiwan.

Currently teaching at both USC Thornton School of Music and California State University, Fullerton, Chen has previously served on the faculties of Indiana University South Bend, UC San Diego, San Diego State University, and McGill University. He has participated in programs such as National Youth Orchestra Canada, Interlochen, and Mimir Festival, and has given master-classes 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, 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