The winner of the International Queen Elisabeth Grand Prize - Queen Mathilde Prize in the 2019 Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition, American violinist Stella Chen has been lauded for her “phenomenal maturity” and “fresh and spontaneous, yet emotionally profound and intellectually well-structured performance” (The Jerusalem Post) and her “expressive and delicate presentation of Tchaikovsky’s Concerto in D major … singing but filled with a strong temperament” (Le Soir). La Libre newspaper also declared that “the art of singing is everywhere” in her playing. Stella has appeared with numerous orchestras including the Belgian National Orchestra, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, Orquestra Filarmónica de Medellín, London Chamber Orchestra, and Welsh National Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Stella is also the first recipient of the Robert Levin Award from Harvard University, the top prize winner of the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition and youngest ever prize winner of the Menuhin Competition. She has given solo performances at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago. Other noteworthy ventures include performances in Bhutan, Jordan, Israel, Cuba, and Colombia. She has appeared at festivals including the Perlman Music Program, Music@Menlo, the Sarasota Music Festival, and YellowBarn. Stella has collaborated with such notable artists as Itzhak Perlman, Robert Levin, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Miriam Fried, Matthew Lipman, Federico Cortese, and the Silk Road Ensemble.
The 2019-2020 season holds many notable performances, including tours of Korea and Japan, multiple European tours, and numerous domestic performances. In addition, she is making her debut performances at the Kronberg Academy, Ravinia Festival, the Salzburg Mozarteum, and in Istanbul. Concerto highlights this season include performances with the Luxembourg Philharmonia, the Changwon City Orchestra, the Ewha Philharmonic Orchestra, and her Alice Tully concerto debut with The Juilliard Orchestra featuring Jörg Widmann’s Concerto No. 2, conducted by the composer.
A graduate of the Harvard/New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program, Stella received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with honors from Harvard University and a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory. Currently, Stella is a C.V. Starr doctoral candidate at the Juilliard School, where she studies with Li Lin, Donald Weilerstein, and Catherine Cho. Former teachers include Itzhak Perlman and Miriam Fried. She plays the ‘Huggins’ 1708 Stradivarius violin, generously on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.
Her performance sounded fresh and spontaneous, yet emotionally profound and intellectually well-structured.
- The Jerusalem Post
Stella Chen looks to tell a story and does it with beautiful nuances and beautiful intentions.
- Le Soir (translated from French)
She's here because the music needs an interpreter, a kind of medium.
- Victor Kissine (translated from German)