Clarinetist Yi-Wen Chen, a native of Taichung, Taiwan, is a multi-faceted performing artist who has given performances at major performance venues in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Italy, and the United States. From an early age, her creative passion has been fueled by an eclectic love of music, ranging from classical and contemporary to pop and rock. This fascination with various musical styles has continued to manifest itself in her broad choice of repertoire and participation in diverse performing ensembles.
Ms. Chen received her bachelor’s degree in clarinet performance in 2006 at Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA), where she studied with Wei-Leng William Chen. After graduating from TNUA, Ms. Chen came to the United States and received her Master of Music degree at New England Conservatory in 2008, where she studied with William Wrzesien, Craig Nordstrom, and Thomas Martin. In 2015 she completed her doctoral degree at University of Illinois, where she studied with J. David Harris.
As soloist, Ms. Chen has performed works from the standard classical repertoire and the jazz idiom, and new pieces with electroacoustic components. In addition to giving traditional recitals with professional colleagues, Ms. Chen is currently working on a commissioning project with several composers to assemble a full-length recital of new works for clarinet and electroacoustic accompaniment.
As an orchestral musician, Ms. Chen has served a leading role in ensembles such as Taipei Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Taipei Tong-Fong Wind Ensemble, Taipei Symphonic Wind Ensemble, China Youth Corps Wind Ensemble, Boston Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Wesleyan Civic Orchestra, Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, and Sinfonia da Camera.
A former member of Illinois Modern Ensemble, Ms. Chen also played an instrumental role in founding and guiding the TV Buddha Ensemble, an ensemble committed to performing and commissioning new works from emerging composers for an eclectic chamber ensemble whose members draw from a wide variety of disciplines such as classical performance, jazz performance, and music composition.
As a champion of new music, Ms. Chen has premiered solo and chamber works by notable and emerging composers including M.O. Abbott, Halim Beere Zack Browning, Taylor Briggs, William Andrew Burnson, Ming- Ching Chiu, Yiu-Kwung Chuang, Quinn Collins, Jason Cress, Daniel Dehann, Noam Elkies, Leon Harrell, Yu-Fang Hsu, Yuan-Chen Lee, Mei-Fang Lin, Jason Mitchell, Jordan Nobles, Mike Perdue, Paul Richard, Kyle Rowan, Scott Rubin, John Supko, Gautam Srikishan, Daniel Swilley, Steve Taylor, Dmitri Tymoczko, and Luca Vanneschi, among others.
In addition to her career as a performer, Ms. Chen has worked in many other roles in the music field. As a private studio teacher, she has taught clarinet, piano, and music theory to students of all ages. As a chamber coach, she has worked with wind ensembles in Taiwan and the United States since 2003. Ms. Chen has also worked as a recording artist for soundtrack and film music in Taiwan. Additionally, she has worked as an audio engineer for artists specializing in a variety of musical styles including classical, contemporary, and pop-rock music.
Yi-Wen Chen is currently based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where she continues her career as a new music commissioner/collaborator, classical music performer, and music educator.