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With performances described as “electrifying” and “brilliant,” CHELSEA CHEN, 24, continually elicits high praise for her musically exceptional command of the organ. A Juilliard graduate and a Fulbright scholar, she is broadening the classical organ repertoire with her own Asia-inspired compositions.
Chen recorded her debut CD and DVD, Live at Heinz Chapel, on the Heinz Chapel organ at the 2005 Convention of the American Institute of Organbuilders. Her playing has since been aired on “Pipedreams” from American Public Media, Hawaii Public Radio, and Taiwan’s Good News Radio.
Chen was featured in 2006 at both the AGO (American Guild of Organists) Region IX Conclave in Las Vegas and the National Convention in Chicago. In addition, she has soloed with the Juilliard Percussion Orchestra in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and with the Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra in Colorado. She premiered to great success her own Taiwanese Suite (2003) and Taiwan Tableaux (2007) at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, and has premiered several works by Juilliard composers Teddy Niedermaier and Ola Gjeilo. In 2008 Chen was named the Charles Ives Scholar at Yale. She also made her solo debuts at Singapore’s Esplanade and Hong Kong’s Cultural Centre.
Chen has been the recipient of many awards, including the Robert Baker prize at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and the John Erskine Prize for scholastic and artistic distinction at the Juilliard School. She has taken first prizes in many contests, including the 2005 Augustana/Reuter National Undergraduate organ competition and the 2003 Region IX AGO RCYO competition.
Originally from San Diego, California, Chen studied piano from the age of five with Jane Bastien and Lori Bastien Vickers. At fifteen she began organ lessons with Leslie Robb, and later with Monte Maxwell. She went on to study with John Weaver and Paul Jacobs at Juilliard, receiving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. In the 2006/07 season, as a Fulbright scholar, she composed, lectured, and performed throughout Taiwan. She is currently an Artist Diploma student of Thomas Murray at Yale University. Her website is chelseachen.com.