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27 April 2018 (Toronto, ON) – One of today’s most charismatic young violinists, Ray Chen, reveals his early-awaited new album The Golden Age – a thrilling collection of chamber and orchestral works. The album, set to release on June 8 via Decca Records/Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company, arrives as his first from Decca Classics since signing to the label last year. Watch the album trailer for The Golden Age HERE.


Recognized as a musician of “phenomenal talent” by The Washington Post, Chen has handpicked a selection of works for his new album which celebrates the ‘golden age’ of the violin – not only in terms of repertoire, but also in performance style and ingenuity. The centrepiece is Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto which was recorded in August last year with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Robert Trevino.


The album opens with a piece for string quartet which has already garnered over 50,000 hits on Chen’s YouTube channel. Titled, “A New Satiesfaction”, it features “Gymnopédie No.1” by Erik Satie with an allusion to Rossini’s “William Tell Overture”. Performed by Chen and his Made in Berlin quartet, the arrangement of “A New Satiesfaction” is done by the group’s cellist, Stephan Koncz. The other violinist in the quartet is Noah Bendix-Balgley while Amihai Grosz plays viola. All of Chen’s collaborators in the group are members of the Berlin Philharmonic and they recorded together in the city last November.


The album also features compositions and arrangements by such legendary violinists as Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz, which Chen performs with pianist Julien Quentin. Among them are Kreisler’s “Syncopation and Schön Rosmarin” and Cyril Scott’s “Lotus Land”, plus Heifetz’s transcriptions of “Estrellita” by Manuel Ponce and George Gershwin’s “Summertime”. Stephan Koncz has also arranged Debussy’s Clair de lune and the traditional Australian favourite “Waltzing Matilda” (Ray hails from Australia and Taiwan).


Chen teased The Golden Age with a custom-built computer game: “This album acknowledges the various styles of the past, but also retains one important philosophy: as long as we keep inspiring and producing, perhaps what we create now will one day be deemed worthy of being named a golden age,” says Chen.


Chen is among the most compelling young violinists today. He has performed with many of the world’s leading musicians in concert halls across the globe and he has also amassed a huge online following (including more than 2 million fans on SoundCloud) through quirky, self-made videos and engaging social media posts.


About Ray Chen

Ray Chen began violin lessons when he was four-years-old and was accepted into the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music at age 15 where he studied with Aaron Rosand and was supported by Young Concert Artists. After winning the Yehudi Menuhin Competition in 2008, Chen came to the attention of renowned violinist Maxim Vengerov who described him as “a very pure musician with great qualities such as a beautiful youthful tone, vitality and lightness.” Chen recently returned to the competition as their youngest ever juror.


In 2012, Chen became the youngest soloist ever to perform in the televised Nobel Prize Concert for the Nobel Laureates and the Swedish Royal Family. His Carnegie Hall debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Sakari Oramo, as well as his sold-out Musikverein concert with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly, were met with standing ovations.


Chen recently completed a five-city tour of China with the Gothenburg Symphony and Kent Nagano as well as a European tour with the LPO and Christoph Eschenbach. Other highlights include his debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, a recital at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and a Bastille Day performance with Daniele Gatti and the Orchestre National de France for a televised concert on the Champs-de-Mars in Paris in front of an audience of over 800,000.


Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, Chen plays the 1715 “Joachim” Stradivarius violin on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation. This instrument is one of the five 1715 violins once owned by the famed Hungarian violinist, Joseph Joachim (1831-1907).


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Ray Chen - The Golden Age

  1. STEPHAN KONCZ (b.1984) / ERIK SATIE (1866–1925): A New Satiesfaction (featuring Gymnopédie No.1) for string quartet
  2. FRITZ KREISLER (1875–1962): Syncopation
  3. MANUEL PONCE (1882–1948): Estrellita arr. Jascha Heifetz
  4. MAX BRUCH (1838–1920): Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, op.26Vorspiel: Allegro moderato
  5. MAX BRUCH (1838–1920): Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, op.26Vorspiel: Adagio
  6. MAX BRUCH (1838–1920): Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, op.26Vorspiel: Finale: Allegro energico
  7. CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862–1918): C Clair de lune arr. Stephan Koncz
  8. FRITZ KREISLER: Schön Rosmarin
  9. GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898–1937): Summertime arr. Jascha Heifetz
  10. CYRIL SCOTT (1879–1970): Lotus Land arr. Fritz Kreisler
  11. TRADITIONAL: Waltzing Matilda arr. Stephan Koncz


Ray Chen, violin

Julien Quentin, piano (2, 3, 8–10)

London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Robert Trevino (4–6)

MADE IN BERLIN (1, 7, 11)

Ray Chen & Noah Bendix-Balgley, violins

Amihai Grosz viola · Stephan Koncz, cello