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From Executive Director Susan Scott
|Sean Chen grew up in Oak Park on the cusp of Ventura and LA Counties and a lot of people took note of his many early accomplishments, not only in music but math and science, including a Presidential Scholars award and college acceptances by MIT and Harvard. |
Ultimately Sean opted for piano over tech, earning both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Juilliard and numerous awards in the process. Among them, major competition wins in 2013 where one reviewer wrote: Sean Chen was an audience favorite from the early rounds, floppy hair and outstanding stage presence combining with extraordinary technique and musicianshi.
Soros and Yale Fellowships followed and Sean’s career took off with solo and chamber recitals, master classes, artist residencies and orchestra performances around the world. In addition to performing, he is also a composer and transcriber of major orchestral works.
In the midst of this busy career, Sean married violinist wife Betty, moved to Kansas City, MO where she is a member of the Kansas City Symphony and where they produced an adorable baby: Ella Chen, almost 11 months. In his video message, Sean says there is an upside to the Pandemic for him: more time at home with his new family.
About his MC14 selection – Richard Strauss’ art song Standchen ( Serenade) – Sean says it possesses both lovely melody and luscious harmony, helped make Strauss a household name and is fun to play. If you’re a longtime Sean Chen fan from his New West Symphony, TOPS and VMF performances, I know you’re happy to see him here. If you’re encountering him for the first time, we’re pleased to make the introduction. Sean was going to close VMF’s 26th all-star festival later this month. Now that we have moved the whole lineup to 2021, he’ll close it then instead. (That would be August 1, 2021 if you’re into advanced calendaring.)
For now, enjoy Sean, Strauss (and baby Ella).