pianoacademy.ie | Archie Chen | Director of Development

Dr Archie Chen, Director of Development

Archie Chen is the hands behind the Hatto movie
Described by the Irish Times as a pianist who performs with “… gorgeously full tone and daring velocity… ” and whose playing “… suggests a fiery temperament with the necessary elements of technique to support it,” Chinese-American pianist Archie Chen has gained international recognition for his poetic imagination, drama and virtuosic technical prowess. International Piano Magazine hails his interpretation of Alkan at the Dublin International Piano Festival as “… a performance that has stayed longer in the memory than anything else.” Others have also described his playing as one that “combines a solo virtuoso’s fluency and excitement with the sophistication and intelligence of an artist who thinks deeply about the music he plays.” while Ralf Gothoni applauded him as “A great talent, both as instrumentalist and musician… a virtuoso… showing a wide spectrum of deep emotions and understanding for the musical structure.”

Dr. Chen’s performances have led him throughout the United States, Asia, the Middle East and Europe in such prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Gewandhaus, Vatican Auditorium, Benaroya Hall, National Concert Hall (Dublin) and concert halls throughout China. Archie’s performances have also been featured on radio and television with broadcasts in the United States and Europe and in movies including BBC Films “Loving Miss Hatto” a movie about “Hattogate” the recording scandal involving British pianist Joyce Hatto which features Dr. Chen’s performances of the fiendishly difficult Godowsky-Chopin Etudes. An active chamber musician, he also enjoys performing regularly with English cellist William Butt while collaborating with other notable musicians including trumpeters Alan Vizutti and John Wallace. Equally active as a soloist with orchestra, he has performed with the Spokane Symphony, RTE Concert Orchestra, Washington Symphony, Coeur d’Alene Symphony, Gonzaga Symphony and the Northwest Chamber Orchestra. Upcoming recording projects include a new disc of Liszt & Chopin with Carnegie Artists Records due to be released in 2017.

Archie Chen studied extensively with Mary Toy and was taken under the wing of Maestro Gunther Schuller at the age of 16, becoming a regular performer at the Festival at Sandpoint, working with conductors Gary Sheldon & Kevin Noe. He obtained his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where he continued his studies with Menahem Pressler and the late Edmund Battersby. Among his many scholarships and awards at Indiana University were the Nina Neal Piano Scholarship and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate, the school’s highest honor. Following his training at Indiana University he earned his Recital Artist Diploma at the Royal Irish Academy of Music under the direction of John O’ Conor and recently finished a Doctorate of Music in Piano Performance, with focused research on Chopin. Other influential teachers include Leonard Hokanson, Alicia De Larrocha and Gary Graffman.

Dr. Chen enjoys teaching and feels honoured to share his knowledge with students who are passionate about music. His students have won top prizes in competitions and have been accepted to major universities and conservatories. He has also been invited to give master classes at festivals and institutions across the United States, Europe and Asia as well as being an active adjudicator at both national and international levels.

Dr. Chen received First Prize at the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition and was awarded Artist of the Year by the New York Classical Music Society in 2013. He also holds a Fellowship from the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, a residency program for artists to practice and excel at their craft. Dr. Chen’s performances & research is generously supported by the 2016 Arts Council Music Bursary Award.

Dr. Chen previously served as Assistant Lecturer of Piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the DIT Dublin Conservatory of Music and is Founder & Artistic Director of the Dublin International Piano Festival & Summer Academy and Founder & Director of Development at the Piano Academy of Ireland.

The grand gesture, whether of gorgeously full tone or daring velocity, seems to be at the heart of Chen’s approach to romantic repertoire. The eagerness with which he launched himself into the most daunting of challenges suggests a fiery temperament, and the necessary elements of technique are there to support it.
Michael Dervan, Irish Times
Lesson with Archie Chen. This was on the first day of the course and as a result I think I was at my most nervous for this lesson, but I enjoyed the lesson very much, particularly as Archie clarified something which has bothered me for a few years (I have occasionally received negative comments in the past for playing unsteadily). I also admired the way that Archie could instantly give witty and imaginative readings of specific passages, suggesting ideas I would never otherwise have imagined.
Lesson with Archie Chen on the W.A. Mozart "Jeunehomme"Concerto. Again, a few ideas,enriched my playing. It helped the expressivity and the playing legato, in virtuoso parts of the 3rd mov. Also Archies natural way of approaching the piano, had an influence.
Krizstina Wajzsa
I also really enjoyed the lesson and masterclass with Archie Chen, it was very interesting, informative and challenging!