About Ke-Chia Chen


It all started when...

Ke-Chia Chen’s compositions have been performed by leading orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists throughout the United States and Asia.  Her music has been programmed at a variety of esteemed venues and organizations including Carnegie Hall, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Taiwan Philharmonic, Philadelphia WHYY radio, and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra’s Miles of Manuscript music series.


Chen has collaborated with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin on several projects. Recently, she was commissioned to orchestrate and arrange ten hymns for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s performance during Pope Francis’s Papal visit to Philadelphia in 2015. In 2014 Chen created the arrangements for the orchestra’s performance at the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Past and present collaborators of Ms. Chen include Teddy Abrams, music director of the Louisville Orchestra; Joshua Gersen, assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic and music director of the New York Youth Symphony; Lio Kuokman, assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center violinists Ida Kavafian and Bella Hristova, viola soloist Toby Appel of the Juilliard School, Jennifer Montone, principal horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and musicians from the Marlboro Festival, Philadelphia Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. 


Ms. Chen’s critically acclaimed Broken Crystal, winner of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s prestigious Marilyn K. Glick Young Composer Award, was hailed by the Indianapolis Star as a work “orchestrated with lavish self-confidence and a resourcefulness”, and “made a coherent whole out of its pattern of abrupt contrasts, crowned by a broad, stunningly accented ‘maestoso’ episode”.  In 2015 Broken Crystal was selected as a finalist in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Elaine Lebenbon Memorial Award competition. In 2016, her work The Silent Flame was selected first prize winner of the International Horn Society Composition Contest. 


In 2016 Ms. Chen was invited to be an artist-in-residence at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming.  Other past composer-in-residencies include the New York based orchestra Ensemble 212, the Colorado College Summer Music Festival and the Music at Angel Fire Chamber Music Festival.  She was selected to participate as a composer fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, the Pacific Music Festival, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. 


The 2016-2017 concert season features commissions by the Philadelphia Orchestra for their educational program Sound All Around concert series, an large orchestral work by the Taiwan Philharmonic, a chamber work for the Network for New Music in Philadelphia.  The upcoming season will also see the Asian premiere of Ms. Chen’s Broken Crystal by the Taiwan Philharmonic.  


Ke-Chia Chen holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, as well as a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, Ms. Chen is on the Musical Studies faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music.