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Melvin Chen

Biography

Born: April 17, 1970; Seattle, WA  
Pianist Melvin Chen is one of the few musicians who can claim to be a virtuoso performer on more than one instrument: he holds master's degrees from the Juilliard School of Music in both piano and violin performance. But his educational resumé hardly ends there: he has bachelor's degrees in both chemistry and physics from Yale University and possesses a doctorate from Harvard in chemistry! While he has centered much of his concert activity in the Read more United States with appearances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Frick Collection, Jordan Hall in Boston, the Chautauqua and Bard Music festivals, and numerous other major venues, he has also regularly concertized throughout Europe and Asia. He has performed on Korean radio and television (KBS) as well as on Japanese television (NHK), and in the U.S. over National Public Radio. Chen appears not only as a soloist and recitalist, but as a chamber music player, often in concerts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. His repertory is broad and unusually varied, mixing the well-known and lesser-known, the time-honored and the contemporary: Beethoven, Hummel, Chopin, Liszt, Moscheles, Gershwin, Earl Kim, Joan Tower, Ricky Ian Gordon, and many others. Chen's recordings are available from Naxos, Bridge, New World Records, and Ghostlight.

Melvin Chen was born in Seattle, WA, on April 17, 1970. His list of music teachers is nearly as impressive as his academic accomplishments: at Yale he studied piano with Boris Berman and violin with Paul Kantor and Ida Kavafian; at Juilliard he took instruction on piano from Seymour Lipkin and on violin from Glenn Dicterow.

Chen was an active performer throughout the 1990s, much of the time in chamber music performance, appearing with such artists as Pamela Frank, Ida Kavafian, David Shifrin, Steven Isserlis, and many other front-rank players.

While Chen has continued regular chamber music concerts in the new century, he has become recognized in the U.S. and abroad as one of the leading virtuoso solo pianists of his generation. His highly praised 2006 recording of the Beethoven Diabelli Variations on Bridge helped usher in what would become a flood of critical acclaim. Among Chen's recordings in 2007 was a CD of Shostakovich sonatas and piano works, also on the Bridge label. Chen teaches piano at Bard College Conservatory of Music and previously taught piano at Yale School of Music. Read less
Browse 1-6 of 6 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Dillon: Appendage & Other Stories
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1170 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lawrence Dillon
    Performer:  Stephen Williamson,  Richard O'Neill,  Lauren Flanigan,  Taimur Sullivan  ... 
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  • 2.
    Shostakovich: Music For Piano / Melvin Chen
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9238 Release Date: 10/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Melvin Chen
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  • 3.
    R. I. Gordon: Orpheus & Euridice / Futral, Palmer, Chen
    Label: Ghostlight   Catalog: 84417 Release Date: 01/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ricky Ian Gordon
    Performer:  Elizabeth Futral,  Todd Palmer,  Melvin Chen
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  • 4.
    Beethoven: Diabelli Variations;  Liszt, Et Al / Melvin Chen
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9189 Release Date: 04/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel  ... 
    Performer:  Melvin Chen
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  • 5.
    American Classics - Tower: Instrumental Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559215 Release Date: 08/16/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joan Tower
    Performer:  Richard Woodhams,  Ursula Oppens,  André Emelianoff,  Joan Tower  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tokyo String Quartet
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  • 6.
    Kim: Excercises En Route, Now And Then, Dear Linda, Etc
    Label: New World Records   Catalog: 80561 Release Date: 04/24/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Earl Kim
    Performer:  Melvin Chen,  Eva Kim,  Alexis Pia Gerlach,  Jean DeMart  ... 
    Conductor:  Scott Yoo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra
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