Justine F. Chen, Violinist and Composer
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Justine began piano, composition, and violin studies at an early age. As a violinist, she has appeared internationally as a soloist with orchestras in prestigious venues including Moscow Tchaikovsky International Concert Hall, the Beijing Conservatory, the Shanghai Conservatory, the Taipei Municipal Concert Center, Taichung Cultural Center, New York Alice Tully Hall and Town Hall, and Meyerson Symphony Hall in Dallas, and other venues in Los Angeles, Taipei, Kaohsiung, and Tienjing. As an orchestral musician, she has performed in Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Suntory Hall in Japan under such distinguished conductors as Kurt Masur, Otto-Werner Mueller, Marin Alsop, Andre Previn, Pierre Boulez, Hugh Wolff, Carl St. Clair, Gerard Schwarz, and Bobby McFerrin.
As a composer, she has won numerous awards and commissions including two ASCAP Awards to Young Composers, the Interlochen Arts Academy National Composition Competition, the Fourth International Aaron Copland Composition Competition, and the National Federation of Music Clubs? Composition Competition. Recent projects and performances include collaborations with several Juilliard choreographers and a commission from the New Juilliard Ensemble, which was premiered in Alice Tully Hall. When her collaborative piece, Of Roots and Stones was featured on the Spring Dance Concert at The Juilliard Theater, February 2000, the New York Times praised her music as "the kind of propulsive, emotionally resonant score that choreographers tend to dream of." In summer of 2000, she served as Composer-in-Residence in the Appalachian Summer Festival in Boone, North Carolina. There she collaborated with choreographer Adam Hougland and the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble in the creation of a new dance work, Stand Nine, in which the dancers and musicians interact as equal dramatic partners onstage. Recent performances include critically acclaimed performances in The Special Prisoner, a collaboration with director James Glossman, and a critically acclaimed appearance in the FOCUS! Festival at The Juilliard School, performing Leon Kirchner's Piano Trio No. 1.
Her latest collaboration with digital artist Yewon Cho, Trilemma, which will be broadcast on PBS in June 2002, was most recently screened at the American Museum of the Moving Image where it won the 29th Annual Student Academy Awards New York Regional Finals, and will be screened at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles this June for the National Finals. She has recently received the French Award, which will fund a trip to Paris to study at the world-renowned computer music center IRCAM in 2003.
In recent seasons, Ms. Chen has made recital appearances in New York, Shanghai, and Taiwan. She has participated in numerous festivals including the National Orchestral Institute, the Craftsbury Chamber Players, Summer Garden Festival, and Juilliard FOCUS! Festival. Ms. Chen appeared on ABC "Good Morning America" with her husband, accomplished violist and composer Kenji Bunch. In spring of 2001, she toured with the new music group, Continuum to Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Critical acclaim includes reviews from The Strad: "Justine Chen performed Bernstein's Serenade with conscientious instrumental authority, self-discipline and variable expressivity?, and the Hardwick Gazette reviewed her as: "Playing her lead instrument with unerring fingering, flamboyance, and professional confidence, Chen showed that she was a master violinist in every respect."
In 1998, she began extended studies of computer music. Since 1999, she has been actively studying the intricacies of interactive computer music program MAX/MSP. Her education, led by Mari Kimura, cutting-edge violinist and MAX/MSP programmer, has resulted in her composition and performance of three interactive computer pieces: One, Two, Three (2000), Good Ol?Smoke and Mirrors (2001), and Aria Ex Machina (2001).
After finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at The Juilliard School as a Violin and Composition major, she was awarded the prestigious Peter Menin Prize at her graduation for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music. Upon completion of her Master Degree last spring in Violin and Composition, she received the William Schuman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Leadership in Music for Graduate Students. She is currently in her second year of Doctoral studies at Juilliard as a C.V. Starr fellow, studying composition with Robert Beaser. Her former violin teachers include Stephen Clapp, Sally Thomas, Ann Setzer, and Hisako Resnick; and in composition, David Diamond, Andrew Thomas and Philip Lasser.