Robert Chen has been concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1999. His activities as a soloist include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Moscow Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin, NDR Orchestra of Hanover and the Bournemouth Symphony. In 2000, he made his Chicago Symphony concerto debut with Daniel Barenboim. In 2006, he gave the world premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’s Astral Canticle with the CSO conducted by Daniel Barenboim. In 2003, he gave the Chicago Symphony’s premiere of Elliot Carter’s Violin Concerto, and in 2005, he performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the CSO conducted by Barenboim.
In addition, Chen has appeared as soloist with the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia with Christoph Eschenbach and James Conlon. He also is a frequent guest artist with various regional orchestras.
As a chamber musician, Chen has collaborated with Daniel Barenboim, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, and Yo-Yo Ma, both at Orchestra Hall in Chicago and at Carnegie Hall in New York. He has toured extensively with Musicians from Marlboro and is a founding member of the Johannes Quartet. Chen has been a participant in numerous festivals including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Chamber Music Festival and the Schloss Moritzburg Festival in Germany.
After winning first prize in Hanover International Violin Competition, Robert Chen recorded Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto for Berlin Klassics label. He is the recipient of the American Heritage Award from the American Immigration Law Foundation and the Arts and Science Achievement Award from the Taiwanese-American Foundation.
A native of Taiwan, Robert Chen began his violin studies at the age of seven. Three years later, he and his family moved to Los Angeles, where he studied with Robert Lipsett. While in Los Angeles, he participated in Jascha Heifetz’s master classes. Chen received both bachelor’s and master’s of music degrees from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki. In addition to his performing career, Chen currently is on the faculty at Roosevelt University, Chicago. He is the proud father of Beatrice and Noah Chen.
Robert Chen first appeared as soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival in June 2000, in Saint-Saëns’s The Muse and the Poet along with Yo-Yo Ma, with Christoph Eschenbach conducting. He made his subscription concert debut as soloist at Orchestra Hall in November and December 2000, in Mozart’s Fourth Violin Concerto with Daniel Barenboim conducting.