Mei-Ann Chen


Conductor of the Chicago Sinfonitta

Innovation, passionate and dynamism are the hallmarks of conductor Mei-Ann Chen. Music Director of the Chicago Sinfonietta, she is acclaimed for infusing the orchestra with energy, enthusiasm and high-level music-making, and galvanizing audiences and communities alike. A sought-after guest conductor, Ms. Chen’s reputation as a compelling communicator has resulted in growing popularity with orchestras both nationally and internationally.

In December 2015, Musical America, the bible of the performing arts industry, named Mei-Ann Chen one of its 2015 Top 30 Influencers (people, described by editor Susan Elliot as “…folks about whom you could say “When they speak, we listen.”). Among her other honors and awards are the 2012 Helen M. Thompson Award from the League of American Orchestras; winner, the 2005 Malko Competition in Copenhagen (the first woman to earn this honor), and a 2007 Taki Concordia Fellowship, and an ASCAP award for innovative programming.

Named Conductor Laureate following a successful six season tenure as Music Director of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra this past spring, Ms. Chen recently served as Artistic Director and Conductor for the 2016 National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Summer Festival. Posts earlier in her career include serving as Assistant Conductor of the Atlanta and Baltimore and Oregon symphonies.

Born in Taiwan, Mei-Ann Chen has lived in the United States since 1989. She was the first student in New England Conservatory’s history to receive master’s degrees simultaneously in both violin and conducting. She later studied with Kenneth Kiesler at the University of Michigan, where she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting.