“Chen crashes through any supposed barriers erected around classical music with his playing.”——THE SAN DIEGO TRIBUNE
"Ray Chen’s rock star charm was as winning as his smouldering delivery of Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole."——THE SCOTSMAN
“Chen is that rara avis among rising classical stars, a superlative virtuoso who also happens to be a thoroughgoing artist.”——CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“Ray Chen is a paradox: the epitome of cool, yet a man with a zany, anarchic and public sense of humour, combined in a world-class violin virtuoso with a technique of fire and ice.”——SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
Ray Chen is a violinist who redefines what it is to be a classical musician in the 21st Century. With a media presence reaching out to millions, Ray Chen's remarkable musicianship transmits to a global audience that is reflected in his engagements with the foremost orchestras and concert halls around the world.
Initially coming to attention via the Yehudi Menuhin (2008) and Queen Elizabeth (2009) competitions, of which he was First Prize winner, Ray has built a profile in Europe, Asia, and the USA as well as his native Australia. Signed in 2017 to Decca Classics, the Ray’s forthcoming recording with the London Philharmonic follows three critically acclaimed albums on SONY, the first of which (“Virtuoso”) received an ECHO Klassik Award.
Ray Chen’s profile continues to grow: he was featured on Forbes’ list of 30 most influential Asians under 30; made a guest appearance on Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle” TV series; performed for a live TV audience on France’s Bastille Day and at the Nobel Prize Concert in Stockholm.
Ray has performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony among others, and will make upcoming debuts with the San Francisco Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, and Bavarian Radio Chamber Orchestra. He works regularly with conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Vladimir Jurowski, Manfred Honeck, Daniele Gatti, Kirill Petrenko, and many others.
Ray’s commitment to music education is paramount, and inspires the younger generation of music students with his series of self-produced videos combining comedy and music. Through his onlinepromotions his appearances regularly sell out and draw an entirely new demographic to the concert hall.
Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, Ray was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music at age 15, where he studied with Aaron Rosand and was supported by Young Concert Artists. He plays the 1715 “Joachim” Stradivarius violin on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation. This instrument was once owned by the famed Hungarian violinist, Joseph Joachim (1831-1907).
Praised as a musician of "compelling artistry and power" by the Seattle Times, the gifted American pianist Julio Elizalde is a multi-faceted artist who enjoys a versatile career as soloist, chamber musician, artistic administrator, educator, and curator. He has performed in many of the major music centers throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America to popular and critical acclaim. Since 2014, he has served as the Artistic Director of the Olympic Music Festival near Seattle, Washington.
Julio Elizalde has appeared with many of the leading artists of our time. He tours internationally with world-renowned violinists Sarah Chang and Ray Chen and has performed alongside conductors Itzhak Perlman, Teddy Abrams, and Anne Manson. He has collaborated with artists such as violinist Pamela Frank, composers Osvaldo Golijov and Stephen Hough, baritone William Sharp, and members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Takács, Kronos, and Brentano string quartets.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Elizalde received a bachelor of music degree with honors from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Paul Hersh. He holds master’s and doctor of musical arts degrees from the Juilliard School in New York City, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal, Joseph Kalichstein, and Robert McDonald.