Organist and composer Chelsea Chen (b. 1983) is internationally renowned for her concerts of “rare musicality” and “lovely lyrical grandeur,” and a compositional style that is “charming” and “irresistible” (Los Angeles Times).
Chelsea Chen has electrified audiences throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia in venues such as Singapore’s Esplanade, Hong Kong’s Cultural Centre, Kishinev’s National Organ Hall, and Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center. As a composer she is broadening the classical organ repertoire with her own works based on Asian folksongs.
Ms. Chen has soloed with orchestras throughout the world including the Wuhan Philharmonic in China, the Jakarta Simfonia in Indonesia, and the Juilliard Percussion Orchestra in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. She has additionally performed under the baton of eminent conductors such as Jahja Ling, JoAnn Falletta, and Victor Yampolsky. Committed to new music, she has premiered works by composers throughout the world including Ola Gjeilo (Norway/USA), Yui Kitamura (Japan/USA), Paul Desenne (Venezuela), Roderick Gorby (USA), and Andreas Kleinert (Germany).
Ms. Chen has received acclaim as a composer since she premiered her own “Taiwanese Suite” (2003) and “Taiwan Tableaux” (2007) at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in San Diego. Her oeuvre of solo and chamber music pieces have been performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Canada, Asia, and Australia. “Jasmine Fantasy” (for violin, organ, and strings), has been performed by orchestras in the United States, China, and Indonesia. Ms. Chen’s works have been repeatedly featured at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists.
The recipient of the 2009 Lili Boulanger Memorial Award and winner of the 2005 Augustana/Reuter National Organ Competition, Ms. Chen is a graduate of Juilliard, where she received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. She was also a full scholarship recipient at Yale University, where she earned an Artist Diploma. Her major organ teachers included Thomas Murray, John Weaver, Paul Jacobs, Monte Maxwell and Leslie Robb, and her primary piano teachers included Baruch Arnon, Jane Bastien and Lori Bastien Vickers.
Ms. Chen has recorded multiple CDs: Reveries (2011) at Bethel University, Live at Heinz Chapel at the 2005 Convention of the American Institute of Organbuilders, Eastern Treasures with violinist Lewis Wong in 2010, and Live at Coral Ridge in 2014. Her playing has been aired on CNN.com, “Pipedreams” from American Public Media, Hawaii Public Radio, and Taiwan’s Good News Radio. Her compositions are exclusively available from Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc. She performs regularly with German violinist Viviane Waschbüsch (VivaChe Duo), harpist and designer Arielle (Duo Mango), and cellist Joseph Lee.
In 2014 she became Organist and Artist-in-Residence at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She splits her time between Florida and New York, where she is also Artist-in-Residence at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Manhattan.