Taiwanese-American conductor Mei-Ann Chen has been music director of the MacArthur Award–winning Chicago Sinfonietta since 2011, and artistic director and conductor of the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Summer Festival since 2016. She becomes principal guest conductor of Austria’s Recreation Grosses Orchester Graz in September 2019. She is acclaimed for infusing orchestras with energy, enthusiasm, and high-level music-making, galvanizing audiences and communities alike. A sought-after guest conductor, her reputation as a compelling communicator has resulted in growing popularity with orchestras globally.
Ms. Chen’s 2018–19 season debut and return engagements included the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s gala program with Lang Lang, Vienna’s Tonkünstler Orchestra at the Grafenegg Festival, multiple programs with Grosses Orchester Graz and Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic’s seven-city tour, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra’s debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and appearances with the Oslo Philharmonic, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, and the San Francisco, Bilkent, Asheville, and Knoxville symphony orchestras.
In North America, she has also led the Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, Detroit, Fort Worth, Houston, Indianapolis, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver symphony orchestras. Overseas engagements include the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra at Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, Finland’s Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Germany’s Badische Staatskapelle, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, and the BBC Scottish, Danish National, Aalborg, Aarhus, Odense, Gävle, Gothenburg, Helsingborg, Norrköping, Trondheim, and São Paulo symphony orchestras.
As music director of the Chicago Sinfonietta, Ms. Chen has made two recordings for Cedille Records: Project W — Works by Diverse Women Composers — World Premiere recordings of newly commissioned American works by Jennifer Higdon, Clarice Assad, Jessie Montgomery, and Reena Esmail, and William Grant Still’s orchestral arrangement of Florence Price’s Dances in the Canebrakes (March 2019) — and Delights and Dances, featuring World Premieres by Michael Abels and An-Lun Huang (June 2013). She also led River Oaks Chamber Orchestra’s debut album, ROCO: Visions Take Flight (Innova, November 2018), which features the World Premiere recordings of five of the orchestra’s commissioned works.
Mei-Ann Chen’s honors and awards include being named one of Musical America’s 2015 Top 30 Influencers, 2012 Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Orchestras, and First Prize Winner of Copenhagen’s 2005 Malko Competition. She is conductor laureate of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.
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