Doors open at 6pm. Preshow Lecture begins at 6:30pm. Performance begins at 7:30pm.
Mei-Ann Chen, Conductor
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, and Artistic Director & Conductor for the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Summer Festival since 2016, Maestra Chen has just been named Principal Guest Conductor of Austria’s Recreation Grosses Orchester Graz, and first-ever Artistic Partner of River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) in Houston, Texas, effective September 2019. Highly regarded as a compelling communicator and an innovative leader both on and off the podium, and a sought-after guest conductor, she continues to expand her relationships with orchestras worldwide.
Recognized as someone who has redefined the orchestra experience, amongst Ms. Chen’s honors and awards are being named one of the 2015 Top 30 Influencers by Musical America, (the bible of the performing arts industry); a 2012 Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Orchestras; Winner, the 2007 Taki Concordia Fellowship; and First Prize Winner, the prestigious Malko Competition in 2005. Ms. Chen is the recipient of several ASCAP awards for innovative programming during her tenure as the Music Director of Chicago Sinfonietta & Portland Youth Philharmonic in Oregon (2002 – 2007). Ms. Chen is also Conductor Laureate of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, having served as Music Director from 2010 to 2016.
Born in Taiwan, Mei-Ann 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.
She later studied with Kenneth Kiesler at the University of Michigan, where she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting. Ms. Chen participated in the National Conductor Preview, National Conducting Institute, Aspen American Academy of Conducting, and Pierre Monteux School.