“Chen is diminutive but powerful, with an exacting style of conducting that commands attention”

San Francisco Classical Voice

“Sometimes being a guest conductor can ignite a fire in an orchestra and there was no doubt that Ms. Chen lit one here; she infused a new energy into the orchestra’s performance. … The Allegretto [of Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 24 in C minor] was bold; Chen and Lang were in lockstep in extracting the beauty, creativity and energy of the finale.”


“Chen led a superbly taut and propulsive account of the Beethoven piece. The scherzo, taken at breakneck speed without missing a step, proved especially impressive, but the entire symphony was done with a high level of drama.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“The performance indeed offered a captivating and inspired interpretation.”


“But above all, the conductor Mei-Ann Chen should have all the honor of the overwhelming impression “Terra nostra” made. Along with a slightly reduced, yet sounding HSO, she took the audience by storm. It was a very long time since such a newly written work in this format was received with such great enthusiasm.”

Helsingborgs Dagblad (translated)

Praised for her dynamic and passionate conducting style, Taiwanese American conductor Mei-Ann Chen is acclaimed for infusing orchestras with energy, enthusiasm and high-level music-making, galvanizing audiences and communities alike. Music Director of the MacArthur Award-winning Chicago Sinfonietta since 2011, Ms. Chen was named Chief Conductor of Austria’s Recreation Grosses Orchester Graz at Styriarte beginning in fall 2021 after two seasons as the orchestra’s first-ever Principal Guest Conductor, making her the first Asian female conductor to hold this position with an Austrian orchestra. Since September 2019, she has also served as the first-ever Artistic Partner of Houston’s ROCO (River Oaks Chamber Orchestra). Ms. Chen also has served since 2016 as the Artistic Director & Conductor of the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Summer Festival. Highly regarded as a compelling communicator and an innovative leader both on and off the podium, and a sought-after guest conductor, Ms. Chen continues to expand her relationships with orchestras worldwide (over 110 orchestras to date).

Season engagements include concerts with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Summer Festival, and the highly anticipated return of Chicago Sinfonietta to the renowned Ravinia Festival. In addition to subscription performances with Chicago Sinfonietta, recreation – Grosses Orchester Graz at Styriarte, and ROCO, highlights of the 2021-2022 season include return engagements to England’s BBC Symphony in London, Finland’s Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Liechtenstein Symphony Orchestra, Norway’s Oslo Philharmonic, Het Residentie Orkest in The Netherlands, Malmö and Norrlandsoperan in Sweden, and Taiwan Philharmonic, and  debuts with Santa Fe Pro Musica and Spain’s Basque National Orchestra. Among postponed dates due to Covid-19 are debuts with the New York Philharmonic, Germany’s Staatsorchester Darmstadt, and Ireland’s Ulster Orchestra, returns to the San Francisco Symphony, Netherlands Philharmonic, and Norwegian Radio Orchestra.

Recent engagements include serving on the jury for the prestigious 2021 Malko Competition for Young Conductors. Guest conducting highlights include leading Carnegie Hall’s NYO2 in summer 2021, Austria’s Tonkünstler-Orchester, Finland’s Tampere Filharmonia, Germany’s Musikalische Adademie des Nationaltheater-Orchestesters Mannheim, and NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover, Sweden’s Gävle and Helsingborg Symphonies, Switzerland’s Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, and Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Symphony Orchestra at Weiwuying (the world’s largest performing arts center since 2018), in addition to return engagements with symphonies of Atlanta, Detroit, Toledo and the Pacific Symphony.

Other North American guest conducting credits include appearances with symphonies of Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle, Toronto, Tucson, Vancouver and the National Symphony, to name a few. Guest conducting credits outside of North America include the BBC Scottish Symphony; Brazil’s Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (OSESP); Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the symphonies of Aalborg, Aarhus, and Odense, Copenhagen Philharmonic; Germany’s Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe; Mexico’s National Symphony; Norway’s Trondheim Symphony; Sweden’s Gothenburg and Norrköping Symphonies; Switzerland’s Basel Symphony; and Turkey’s Bilkent in Ankara.

As Music Director of Chicago Sinfonietta, Ms. Chen has made two recordings for Cedille Records: “Project W – Works by Diverse Women Composers” (March 2019, nominated for GRAMMY® Award for Producer of the Year, Jim Ginsburg) and “Delights and Dances” (June 2013). In 2018, Innova Records released River Oaks Chamber Orchestra’s debut album “ROCO: Visions Take Flight” (recognized with a GRAMMY® Award for Producer of the Year, Blanton Alspaugh) featuring 5 commissioned contemporary works conducted by Ms. Chen.

Past honors include being named one of the 2015 Top 30 Influencers by Musical America; the 2012 Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Orchestras; Winner of the 2007 Taki Concordia Fellowship founded by Marin Alsop; and 2005 First Prize Winner of the Malko Competition. She is the only woman in the competition’s history since 1965 to have won First Prize. Ms. Chen is Conductor Laureate of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra after serving as Music Director 2010 – 2016. Born in Taiwan, Ms. Chen came to the United States to study violin in 1989 and became the first student in the New England Conservatory’s history to receive master’s degrees simultaneously in both violin and conducting. She also earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting at the University of Michigan.