"Chen swept through Prokofiev with unbelievable panache... stamping her as a genuine interpreter"
The San Francisco Examiner
GWHYNETH CHEN (陳毓襄) is a Taiwanese-American pianist who, in 1993, won the biggest cash prize in the history of piano competitions ($100,000.00.) Ms. Chen, then a young woman of 23, was the youngest contestant at the Ivo Pogorelich International Piano Competition. Subsequent to the award, Mr. Pogorelich himself said of her talent, "She is too good to be true." Immediately recognized as one of the foremost pianists of her generation, the victory was broadcast internationally on CNN television. In recent years she has played joint concerts with Ivo Pogorelich in Switzerland and in Taiwan.
Prior to winning the Ivo Pogorelich Competition, Ms. Chen was a finalist in the 1990 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, where she was also awarded the “Best Lady Prize” for being the only female finalist. In 1992, she was a bronze medalist, this time in the Prokofiev International Piano Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia.
A leading Chinese musical figure, Gwhyneth was included in the 1995 edition of the One Hundred Most Successful Chinese People and appeared in a nationally televised gala concert at the Presidential Palace in the presence of President Lee of Taiwan. In 2002, she was invited to perform and speak in Washington DC during the First Lady Wu Shu-chen's, Peace Journey to the United States. In 2008 she performed at the inaugural festivities for the newly elected President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou.
Ms. Chen recently performed at the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles as a soloist with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. She has also represented her country with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, as "the Pride of Taiwan" in the opening concert at the National Grand Theatre ("Steel Egg") in Beijing, China, to celebrate the 2008 Olympics.
Ms. Chen's CD, "Gwhyneth Chen: Chopin Favorites," celebrated Chopin's 200th anniversary and won "Best Performance" in the 2011 Golden Melody Awards.
Ms. Chen has appeared as a soloist with a number of orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Moscow Radio Symphony, Greenville Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Kyushu Symphony of Japan, Taiwan National Orchestra, Shanghai Symphonic, Moscow State Philharmonic, Pasadena Symphony, Pacific Symphonic, Taipei City Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony and the Zagreb Philharmonic. Ms Chen collaborated with David Atherton and the Hong Kong Philharmonic on a tour of the United States and Canada, with Vladimir Fedoseyev and the Moscow Radio Symphony throughout North America and Mexico, and completed a tour of Taiwan with the Russian Philharmonic under Vladimir Ponkin.
In 1994, Ms. Chen made her recital debut in Munich at Herkulessal, followed by a recital tour of Croatia and Spain. That same year, she played the opening concert of the season in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with the Russian National Orchestra under Mikhail Pletnev performing the Rachmaninoff Third Piano Concerto. In 1999, she made her New York debut at Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center.
A popular figure at international festivals, Ms. Chen has frequented the Montreal Music Festival, Pogorelich Festival, Bowdoin Music Festival, Chopin Festival in Majorca, Chopin Festival in Poland, Chopin Festival in Hanover, Chopin Festival in Vienna, and the Lake Placid Music Festival. In 2010, she performed the complete Chopin Nocturnes at the Chopin Festival in Taiwan, commemorating Chopin's 200th Anniversary. In 2011 she performed the twelve Transcendental Etudes of Liszt, for Liszt's 200th anniversary.
As a frequent benefactor of charitable events, in 2013 Gwhyneth was the recipient of the inaugural Distinguished Humanitarian Award, presented by the Hsuan Hua Foundation of Taiwan. She was cited for her contribution to integration of Arts and Spirituality. In 2014 she was awarded the Filiality Award given by Taiwan’s Filiality Association, which names annually one exemplar of the highest expression of traditional Chinese culture.
Born in Taiwan, Ms. Chen emigrated to the United States in 1980, where she continued her musical studies in Los Angeles with Robert Turner and Aube Tzerko. She moved to New York to study at the Juilliard School, receiving her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees while studying with Martin Canin, Byron Janis and Yin Cheng-Zong.
Gwhyneth is a vegetarian and, since 1993, has integrated aspects of Buddhist spirituality into her musical training.