Che-Yen Chen

Taiwanese-American violist Che-Yen Chen has established himself as an active performer and educator.

Since winning First Prize in the 2003 Primrose International Viola Competition and the “President Prize” of the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, he was described as a musician whose “most impressive aspect of his playing was his ability to find not just the subtle emotion, but the humanity hidden in the music.”

As the founding and former member of the Formosa Quartet, he won the first prize in the 2006 London International String Quartet Competition and has released recordings on EMI, Delos, New World, and Bridge Records.

Chen was the principal violist of the San Diego Symphony and Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra for eight years and has appeared as guest principal with Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Toronto Symphony.

A former member of Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two, Chen frequently performs and teaches at music festivals across North America and Asia. Professor of Viola at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Chen has previously served on the faculty of USC Thornton School of Music, UC San Diego, San Diego State University, California State University Fullerton, and McGill University.

A native of Taipei, Chen began his viola study with Ben Lin and became a four-time winner of the National Viola Competition in Taiwan. In his teens, he came to the U.S. to matriculate at The Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School, studying with luminaries like Michael Tree, Joseph de Pasquale, Karen Tuttle, and Paul Neubauer.