Pianist Gloria Chien has emerged in recent years as one of America’s finest young chamber musicians. Her spectacular gifts of musicianship lend themselves brilliantly to the art of collaboration. In an interview for a local newspaper, Gloria is quoted as saying: “Musicians are trained as soloists. You spend a lot of time alone in your practice room honing your skills. But when I started to play chamber music, I felt liberated. It took the attention away from me and allowed me to start creating something with other musicians.” She first made a name for herself in Boston as a graduate student at New England Conservatory, becoming the resident pianist with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston in 2000. The group is well known for its versatility and commitment to new music, and Gloria is still part of the ensemble. Boston Herald praised her for “…[playing] phenomenally.” Her CD with violinist, Joanna Kurkowicz, featuring music of Grazyna Bacewicz was released on Chandos Records. The International Record Review wrote, “[the violinist] could ask for no more sensitive or supportive a pianist than Gloria Chien.” The Strad praised her for “super performances…accompanied with great character.”
Chien has participated in such festivals as Music Academy of the West, Verbier Music Festival, Bay Chamber Concerts, and Chamber Music Northwest. She has participated for ten years at Music@Menlo, where she was appointed Director of the Chamber Music Institute in 2010 by Artistic Directors, David Finckel and Wu Han. Following a recent performance, Richard Sheinin wrote, “She is a coat-of-many-colors pianist: finely blended sound tapestries emerged from her instrument at Sunday’s “Carte Blanche” recital.”
In 2011 Gloria was chosen to join the roster of the Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center. She debuts in October 2012 as a member of CMS2 in New York’s Alice Tully Hall. Her recent performances include collaborations with the St. Lawrence, Miro, Borromeo, Daedalus and Jupiter String Quartets, David Shifrin, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Joseph Silverstein, Jaime Laredo, Cho-Liang Lin, Ani Kavafian, Ida Kavafian, Wu Han, Rob Kapilow, Paul Neubauer, Roberto Diaz, Andres Diaz, Sharon Robinson, James Ehnes, Nai-Yuan Hu, Bion Tsang, Soovin Kim, Carolin Widmann, Edward Arron and Anthony McGill.
Gloria began playing the piano at the age of five in her native Taiwan. After moving to Boston, she made her orchestral debut at 16 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared as a soloist under the batons of Sergiu Comissiona, Keith Lockhart, Thomas Dausgaard, Irwin Hoffman, Benjamin Zander, and Robert Bernhardt. She is a prize winner of the World Piano Competition, Harvard Musical Association Award, as well as the San Antonio International Piano Competition, where she also received the prize for the Best Performance of the Commissioned Work. Gloria has presented solo recitals at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Harvard Musical Association, Sanibel Musical Festival, Caramoor Musical Festival, Salle Cortot in Paris, and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan.
Richard Dyer, well-known Boston music critic praised her for “a wondrously rich palette of colors, which she mixes with dashing bravado and with an uncanny precision of calibration…Chien’s performance had it all, and it was fabulous.” Gloria holds a doctor of musical arts, a master’s and an undergraduate degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where her teachers have included Russell Sherman and Wha-Kyung Byun. To add to her accolades, Gloria is a Steinway Artist.
Chattanooga area residents enjoy Gloria’s gifts as pianist, as well as a chamber music advocate, beginning the seventh season as Artistic Director of String Theory. Dr. Chien is the founding Director of the Series, performing at the Hunter Museum of American Art in downtown Chattanooga in partnership with Lee University in nearby Cleveland where she is a tenured Artist-In-Residence.