Biography - Bobby Chen
Described by International Piano Magazine as: "...an armour-clad player of complete technique, a thinking musician, a natural Romantic. Young bloods come no better”, Malaysian Bobby Chen studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal Academy of Music with Hamish Milne and Ruth Nye. He burst on the scene in 1996 with a sensational season of concerts, which included a British tour with Lord Menuhin in a performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and a recital at the Royal Festival Hall as part of the South Bank Prokofiev Festival.
Chen has performed under conductors Lan Shui, Mathias Bamert, Maximiliano Valdés, Sir Neville Marriner, Pierre-André Valade, Giancarlo Guerrero and with several orchestras including the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Warsaw Sinfonia, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta. He has recorded for Jaques Samuel Recordings, the ‘Cello Classics’ label, Illuminate Records, Toccata Classics and SOMM Recordings. He has broadcast live for UK’s Classic Fm, Hong Kong’s Radio Television Hong Kong and USA’s Pianoforte Chicago.
In recent seasons, venues Chen has played in included Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Singapore’s Victoria Concert Hall, USA’s Midland Centre of the Arts, Holland’s Hermitage Amsterdam, Poland’s Antonin Palace, UK’s Purcell Room, Bridgewater Hall, Royal Concert Hall, Cadogan Hall, and Wigmore Hall. He has performed under the special auspices of Australia’s Southern Highlands International Piano Competition, at Brazil’s Musica Nova Contemporary Music Festival, Sweden’s Lidköping Music Festival, Ireland’s Music for Wexford and Wicklow Arts Festival, UK’s Worcester Three Choirs Festival, Guildford International Music Festival and Marlborough College Summer School.
In 2007, Chen gave the world premiere of a new piano concerto in London, celebrating Malaysia’s 50th Anniversary as a nation. In 2008, he was one of the pianist selected for the South-East Asian début of the Complete Beethoven Sonatas Cycle in Singapore at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. And in 2009, he represented Malaysia in The Rising Stars Showcase Performances for the 27th Annual Federation of Asian Cultural Promotion (FACP) Conference.
In December 2010, Chen founded the Overseas Malaysian Winter Piano Academy (OMWPA) which took place at The Yehudi Menuhin School in the UK. And in March 2011, he was awarded ‘The BrandLaureate - Country Branding Award’ from The Asia Pacific Brands Foundation. Performance highlights in 2011 included his full début recital at Fazioli Concert Hall in Italy, his 4th solo recital at London’s Wigmore Hall, his first duo London recital with pianist Leslie Howard, and performing solo piano concerti for the 5th and 6th times with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Highlights in 2012 included his full début recital, public masterclass and radio recording in Hong Kong, being appointed a tutor at UK’s Chethams International Piano Summer School 2012, being elected an Associate of London’s Royal Academy of Music (ARAM), and running the Overseas Malaysian Winter Piano Academy (OMWPA) at the Yehudi Menuhin School for the 2nd time.
...Chen is an armour-clad player of complete technique, a thinking musician, a natural Romantic..His arsenal of gran expressione phrases, thunderbolt octaves and basaltic chords quarried from the deep, Arrau/Russian-descended is imperial, his ability to suggest colour and image through touch, timing and dynamic voicing already masterly.
(International Piano Magazine)
...Chen’s touch was masterful, combining the solid enviable technique of the Russian school with the assured elegance of his Claudio Arrau lineage. (Straits Times - Singapore)
...The Romeo and Juliet Suite bristles with energy and atmosphere, and Toccata coruscates. **** (The Independent - UK)
...and an evening concert in which the young Malaysian pianist Bobby Chen made magic with Prokofiev. (The Independent - UK)
...His accounts of the Ten Pieces from Romeo & Juliet Op.75 and the Op.11 Toccata being on altogether a different level of musical understanding and artistic projection...
(Musical Opinion - UK)