Chelsea Chen's dynamic playing has taken her to the far corners of the world. Her solo concerts offer a unique mix of traditional organ repertoire along with piano/orchestral transcriptions and contemporary music. The Los Angeles Times has praised her “rare musicality” and “lovely lyrical grandeur,” and a compositional style that is “charming” and “irresistible.” Recent highlights include performing as soloist with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (a traditional Chinese instrument ensemble), Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and the Lou Harrison Festival Rutgers Orchestra at Trinity Wall Street.
Upcoming engagements include performances with the San Diego Symphony, and a solo recital on St. Thomas Church’s new Dobson organ in New York City. She will also present concerts in Taiwan and northern Europe. Chelsea originally hails from San Diego, where her formative music teachers were organists Leslie Robb (St. Paul’s Lutheran, San Diego) and Monte Maxwell (U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis) and pianists Baruch Arnon (New York City), Jane Bastien and Lori Bastien Vickers (San Diego). She studied under Paul Jacobs and John Weaver at The Juilliard School in New York, where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. She also won the John Erskine Prize for academic and artistic achievement, awarded to one graduate per year.
After college she moved to Taiwan under a Fulbright scholarship, whereupon she collected folk songs and wrote organ solo and chamber music. She returned to the U.S. to study with Thomas Murray in the Artist Diploma program at Yale University. From 2013-2017 she served as Organist and Concert Series Director at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale. She currently resides in New York City as Artist-in-Residence at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church. Ms. Chen has recorded multiple CDs: Reveries (2011) at Bethel University, Live at Heinz Chapel at the 2005 Convention of the American Institute of Organbuilders, Eastern Treasures with violinist Lewis Wong in 2010, and Live at Coral Ridge in 2014. Her playing has been aired on CNN.com, “Pipedreams” from American Public Media, Hawaii Public Radio, and Taiwan’s Good News Radio. Committed to new music, she has premiered works by composers throughout the world including Ola Gjeilo (Norway/USA), Yui Kitamura (Japan/USA), Paul Desenne (Venezuela), Roderick Gorby (USA), Vincent Rone (USA), and Viviane Waschbüsch (Germany). Her compositions are available exclusively from Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc. She performs regularly with cellist Joseph Lee. Together they released an album entitled “Explorations for Cello and Organ” in 2018. Learn more about her at chelseachen.com.