Robert Chen

Instrumental Focus

  • violin

Robert Chen, violin, has been concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1999, where he has been a featured soloist with Riccardo Muti, Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Christoph Eschenbach, Vasily Petrenko, Nicholas Kraemer, and James Conlon, among others. He gave the CSO premiere of Ligeti’s Violin Concerto, Carter’s Violin Concerto, and Lutoslawski’s Chain Two, as well as the world premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’s Astral Canticle. Mr. Chen also enjoys a solo career that includes performances with the Moscow Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, NDR Orchestra of Hanover, Asia Philharmonic, and the Bournemouth Symphony, collaborating with conductors such as Myung-Whun Chung, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Manfred Honeck, Pavel Kogan, and Andreas Delfs. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Chen has performed with Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Yo-Yo Ma, Lang Lang, Emanuel Ax, Mitsuko Uchida, Lynn Harrell, and János Starker. A frequent participant at numerous festivals, he has also toured extensively with Musicians from Marlboro and is a founding member of the Johannes Quartet. Prior to the CSO, Mr. Chen won first prize in the Hanover International Violin Competition, which allowed him to record Tchaikovsky’s complete violin works for Berlin Klassics. A native of Taiwan, Mr. Chen received his bachelor's and master's degrees in music from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki.