BEETHOVEN: Overture to Egmont
BRUCH: Violin Concerto No. 1
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5
BEETHOVEN: Overture to Egmont
Winner of the Queen Elisabeth (2009) and Yehudi Menuhin Competitions (2008), Ray Chen is among the most compelling young violinists today. “Ray has proven himself to be a very pure musician with great qualities such as a beautiful youthful tone, vitality and lightness. He has all the skills of a truly musical interpreter,” said the great Maxim Vengerov.
Chen has released three critically acclaimed albums on Sony: a recital program “Virtuoso” of works by Bach, Tartini, Franck and Wieniawski, and the Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky concertos with Swedish Radio Orchestra and Daniel Harding. Following the success of these recordings, Chen was profiled by The Strad and Gramophone magazines as “the one to watch.” “Virtuoso” was distinguished with the prestigious ECHO Klassik award. His third recording, an all-Mozart album with Christoph Eschenbach and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, was released in January 2014.
Chen has appeared with some of the leading orchestras around the world including the London Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre National de France where he joined Daniele Gatti for the televised Bastille Day concert in Paris to an audience of over 800,000. Other recent highlights include his 2016 debut at the BBC Proms where he appeared with the BBC Symphony at Royal Albert Hall in London.
In 2012, he became the youngest soloist ever to perform in the televised Nobel Prize Concert for the Nobel Laureates and the Swedish Royal Family. His Carnegie Hall debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Sakari Oramo, as well as his sold-out Musikverein concert with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly were met with standing ovations. Chen was a Junge Wilde artist at the Konzerthaus Dortmund between 2012 and 2015.
Followed by more than 2 million people on SoundCloud, Chen looks to expand the classical music audience by increasing its appeal to the young generation via all available social media platforms. In particular his series of quirky, self-made online videos has proven an effective tool in broadening the reach of classical music through humor and education.
e is the first ever classical musician to be invited to write a regular blog about his life as a touring soloist for the largest Italian publishing house, RCS Rizzoli (Corriere della Sera, Gazzetta dello Sport, Max). In his unstinting efforts to break down barriers between classical music, fashion and pop culture, he is supported by Giorgio Armani and was recently featured in Vogue magazine.
Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, Chen was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music at age 15, where he studied with Aaron Rosand and was supported by Young Concert Artists. He plays the 1715 “Joachim” Stradivarius violin on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.This instrument was once owned by the famed Hungarian violinist Joseph Joachim (1831-1907).
“That he is no mere flashy wunderkind of the baton was shown by the freshly invigorated playing he drew from the CSO …his keen musical instincts and vigorous way of translating his ideas into orchestral sound that has both shape and meaning” stated the Chicago Tribune describing conductor Krzysztof Urbański who in September 2016 enters the sixth season of his highly acclaimed tenure as music director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
In his final season as chief conductor and artistic leader of Trondheim Symfoniorkester, Urbański leads the orchestra in performances of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Bartok Concerto for Orchestra, Brahms Requiem and concludes his successful tenure with Mahler Symphony No. 1. Previous highlights include two tours (first with concerts in Germany, Austria and Poland and second at the International Chopin Music Festival), and a fully-staged production of Carmen as his first foray into opera.
In September 2015, Urbański formally became principal guest conductor of NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and this season, in addition to concerts in Hamburg they tour Japan with soloists Alice Sara Ott and Sayaka Shoji.
Alongside his performances in Hamburg, this season sees the release of three discs recorded with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester: Dvořák Symphony No. 9 and Also Sprach Zazathustra (both for Alpha), as well as Chopin small pieces for piano and orchestra with Jan Lisiecki for Deutsche Grammophon. Also soon to be released is Martinu Cello Concerto No. 1 recorded for Sony with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sol Gabetta. In addition, his discography includes ‘wholly excellent renderings’ (Gramophone) of Lutosławski works for Alpha Classics with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester.
In 2016-2017 Urbański’s European season includes his debut with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and reinvitations to Rotterdam Philharmonic, Tonkünstlerorchester, Philharmonia, Münchner Philharmoniker and Wiener Symphoniker for their annual Beethoven Symphony No. 9 New Year concerts. Past debuts include Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony and Oslo Philharmonic orchestras.
In North America, Urbański returns to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra, Washington. His recent U.S. debuts include the New York Philharmonic, Chicago and San Francisco Symphony orchestras.
In June 2015, Urbański received the prestigious Leonard Bernstein Award when he returned to conduct the Schleswig-Holstein Akademie at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival. Notably, he is the first conductor to have ever received this award.