English Biography
 

Long Version

Praised for her dynamic, passionate conducting style, Taiwanese American conductor Mei-Ann Chen is acclaimed for infusing orchestras with energy, enthusiasm and high-level music-making, galvanizing audiences and communities alike. Music Director of the MacArthur Award-winning Chicago Sinfonietta since 2011, Ms. Chen has been Chief Conductor of Austria’s recreation - Grosses Orchester Graz at Styriarte since fall 2021 after two seasons as the orchestra’s first-ever Principal Guest Conductor, making her the first female Asian conductor to hold this position with an Austrian orchestra. She continues as the first-ever Artistic Partner of Houston’s ROCO (River Oaks Chamber Orchestra) a post she was named to in 2019. She begins her new role as Artistic Partner with Washington state's Northwest Sinfonietta this fall. Highly regarded as a compelling communicator and an innovative leader both on and off the podium, and a sought-after guest conductor, Ms. Chen continues to expand her relationships with orchestras worldwide (over 120 orchestras to date).

Maestra Chen’s upcoming 2022-23 season engagements include, in addition to her duties with Chicago Sinfonietta 35th anniversary, Austria’s recreation - Grosses Orchester Graz at Styriarte , Texas’ ROCO, and Washington’s Northwest Sinfonietta (in her first season as Artistic Partner), debuts with Germany’s Staatsorchester Darmstadt, Orchestra national Capitole Toulouse (her France debut), and in the US with the Rochester and Buffalo philharmonic orchestras, and the Hawaii Symphony. Return guest engagements in the United States include the American Composers Orchestra (in a program presented by Carnegie Hall featuring Mark Adama’s Last Year (NY premiere) and two world premieres: a Carnegie Hall co-commission by Yvette Janine Jackson, and one be Inti Figgis-Vizeuta), California’s Pacific Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Santa Fe Pro Musica, and in Sweden with Norrlandsoperan.

Recent guesting highlights include England’s BBC Symphony in London, Finland’s Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Liechtenstein Symphony Orchestra, Norway’s Oslo Philharmonic and Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Het Residentie Orkest in The Netherlands, Malmö and Norrlandsoperan in Sweden, Taiwan Philharmonic, Spain’s Basque National Orchestra, Austria’s Tonkünstler-Orchester, Finland’s Tampere Filharmonia, Germany’s Musikalische Adademie des Nationaltheater-Orchestesters Mannheim, and NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover, Sweden’s Gävle and Helsingborg Symphonies, Switzerland’s Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Symphony Orchestra at Weiwuying (the world’s largest performing arts center since 2018), in addition to US return engagements with the San Francisco, Atlanta, Detroit, Pacific and Toledo symphonies.

Other North American guesting credits include appearances with symphonies of Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, National, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle, Toronto, Tucson, and Vancouver, to name a few. Amongst her overseas guesting credits are the symphonies of BBC Scottish; Brazil’s São Paulo (OSESP); Denmark’s National, Aalborg, Aarhus, Odense and Copenhagen Philharmonic; Germany’s Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe; Mexico’s National; Norway’s Trondheim; Sweden’s Gothenburg and Norrköping; Switzerland’s Basel; and Turkey’s Bilkent in Ankara.

As Music Director of Chicago Sinfonietta, Ms. Chen has made two recordings for Cedille Records: "Project W - Works by Diverse Women Composers" (March 2019, nominated for GRAMMY® Award for Producer of the Year, Jim Ginsburg) and "Delights and Dances" (June 2013). In 2018, Innova Records released River Oaks Chamber Orchestra's debut album "ROCO: Visions Take Flight” (recognized with a GRAMMY® Award for Producer of the Year, Blanton Alspaugh) featuring 5 commissioned contemporary works conducted by Ms. Chen.

Past honors include being named one of the 2015 Top 30 Influencers by Musical America; the 2012 Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Orchestras; Winner, the 2007 Taki Concordia Fellowship founded by Marin Alsop; and 2005 First Prize Winner of the Malko Competition (she remains as the only woman in the competition history since 1965 to have won First Prize). Ms. Chen is Conductor Laureate of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra after serving as Music Director 2010 – 2016, and also served as Artistic Director & Conductor for the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Summer Festival from 2016 – 2021). Born in Taiwan, Ms. Chen came to the United States to study violin in 1989 and became the first student in New England Conservatory’s history to receive master’s degrees simultaneously in both violin and conducting, and she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting at the University of Michigan.


Short Version

Praised for her dynamic, passionate conducting style, Taiwanese American conductor Mei-Ann Chen is acclaimed for infusing orchestras with energy, enthusiasm and high-level music-making, galvanizing audiences and communities alike. Music Director of the MacArthur Award-winning Chicago Sinfonietta since 2011, Ms. Chen has been Chief Conductor of Austria’s recreation - Grosses Orchester Graz at Styriarte since fall 2021 (following two seasons as the orchestra’s first-ever Principal Guest Conductor), making her the first female Asian conductor to hold this position with an Austrian orchestra. She also serves as the first-ever Artistic Partner of Houston’s ROCO (River Oaks Chamber Orchestra) a post she was named to in 2019 and this fall  begins her new role as Artistic Partner with Washington state's Northwest Sinfonietta. Highly regarded as a compelling communicator and an innovative leader both on and off the podium, and a sought-after guest conductor, she has appeared with distinguished orchestras throughout the Americas, Europe, Taiwan, The United Kingdom, and Scandinavia, and continues to expand her relationships with orchestras worldwide (over 120 orchestras to date).Honors include being named one of the 2015 Top 30 Influencers by Musical America; the 2012 Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Orchestras; Winner, the 2007 Taki Concordia Fellowship founded by Marin Alsop; and 2005 First Prize Winner of the Malko Competition (she remains as the only woman in the competition history since 1965 to have won First Prize), and ASCAP awards for innovative programming.

(237 words)

If a different length biography is needed, please contact publicist Laura Grant (see contact page).

Back to Top