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Chelsea Chen

Chelsea Chen’s dynamic playing has taken her to the far corners of the world. Her solo concerts offer a unique mix of traditional organ repertoire along with piano/orchestral transcriptions and contemporary music. The Los Angeles Times has praised her “rare musicality” and “lovely lyrical grandeur,” and a compositional style that is “charming” and “irresistible.”

Recent highlights include performing with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Singapore Chinese Orchestra (a traditional Chinese instruments ensemble) and the Lou Harrison Festival Rutgers Orchestra at Trinity Wall Street in Manhattan; the NYC concert was hailed by the New York Times as one of the top ten classical events of 2017.   In 2019 she performed one of the inaugural concerts on St. Thomas Church’s new Dobson organ in New York City. She was also a featured artist in festivals in Beijing, China, Uppsala, Sweden, and Stuttgart, Germany.

Ms. Chen originally hails from San Diego, where her formative music teachers were organists Leslie Robb (St. Paul’s Lutheran, San Diego) and Monte Maxwell (US Naval Academy, Annapolis) and pianists Baruch Arnon (New York City), Jane Bastien and Lori Bastien Vickers (San Diego). She studied under Paul Jacobs and John Weaver at The Juilliard School in New York, where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. She also won the John Erskine Prize for academic and artistic achievement, awarded to one graduate per year. After college she moved to Taiwan under a Fulbright scholarship, whereupon she collected folk songs and wrote organ solo and chamber music. She returned to the U.S. to study with Thomas Murray at Yale University, where she earned an Artist Diploma. In 2009, Wayne Leupold Editions published her composition “Taiwanese Suite” to great acclaim.

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 (2010) with violinist Lewis Wong, Live at Coral Ridge (2014), and Explorations for Cello and Organ (2018) with cellist Joseph Lee. Her playing has been aired on CNN.com, “Pipedreams” from American Public Media, Hawaii Public Radio, and Taiwan’s Good News Radio. 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), Vincent Rone (USA), and Viviane Waschbüsch (Germany). Her compositions are available exclusively from Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc.

From 2013-2017, Ms. Chen was Artist-in-Residence at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, where she performed and directed the Concert Series.  At present, she serves as Artist-in-Residence at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Manhattan.