Described by the Irish Times as a pianist with “daring velocity” and a “fiery temperament,” Taiwanese-American virtuoso Archie Chen has made a name for himself in the international music scene with his poetic imagination, dramatic performances, and unparalleled technical prowess. His interpretation of Alkan at the Dublin International Piano Festival left a lasting impression on audiences, with International Piano Magazine praising it as “… a performance that has stayed longer in the memory than anything else.” Critics have hailed him as a musician who “combines a solo virtuoso’s fluency and excitement with the sophistication and intelligence of an artist who thinks deeply about the music he plays.” Ralf Gothoni, a renowned pianist and teacher, has applauded him as “A great talent, both as instrumentalist and musician… a virtuoso… showing a wide spectrum of deep emotions and understanding for the musical structure.”
As a highly sought-after performer, Dr. Archie Chen has graced the stages of some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Gewandhaus, Vatican Auditorium, Benaroya Hall, and the National Concert Hall in Dublin. His performances have taken him across the United States, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, showcasing his talents to a global audience. Dr. Chen has also been featured on radio and television broadcasts in the United States and Europe, as well as in the BBC film “Loving Miss Hatto,” which features his performances of the famously difficult Godowsky-Chopin Etudes. An accomplished chamber musician, Dr. Chen has collaborated with esteemed cellists Zuill Bailey and William Butt, as well as trumpeters Alan Vizutti and John Wallace. He has also performed frequently with orchestras such as the Spokane Symphony, Coeur d’Alene Symphony, Gonzaga Symphony, RTE Concert Orchestra, Washington-Idaho Symphony, and the Northwest Chamber Orchestra. His recordings have been released on Sony Classical and Carnegie Artists Records, solidifying his place as one of the leading pianists of his generation.
A prodigy hailing from Spokane, Dr. Archie Chen has built a reputation as a pianist of exceptional skill and talent. With a rich background deeply rooted in classical music, Dr. Chen began his studies with renowned teacher Mary Toy, giving his first Piano Concerto performance at the age of 11 with the Spokane Youth Symphony. He went on to win the Northwest Young Artist series at 13 and the Young Artist Award at Musicfest Northwest at the age of 16. Dr. Chen’s talents caught the attention of the late Maestro Gunther Schuller, who took him under his wing and made him a regular guest artist at the Festival at Sandpoint. Dr. Chen received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where he studied with Menahem Pressler and the late Edmund Battersby, earning scholarships and awards such as the Nina Neal Piano Scholarship, and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate, the school’s highest honor. He went on to earn his Recital Artist Diploma and Doctorate of Music in Piano Performance, with focused research on Historically Informed Performance (HIP), at the Royal Irish Academy of Music under the direction of John O’ Conor, where he was recipient of the Arts Council of Ireland Music Bursary Award. Dr. Chen has also studied with Leonard Hokanson & Alicia De Larrocha. Dr. Chen has received First Prize at the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, and was awarded Artist of the Year by the New York Classical Music Society in 2013, holds a Fellowship from the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, a residency program for artists to practice and excel at their craft.
Since 2017, Dr. Archie Chen has spearheaded a comprehensive online education program offering courses in Piano Pedagogy, Piano Literature, HIP, and Entrepreneurship for Musicians. Dr. Chen’s aim is to help students identify opportunities for building a successful career in the music industry, and provide them with the necessary skills to navigate the business aspects of being a professional musician. Drawing on his extensive experience, he has successfully guided students towards exceptional achievements, including winning top prizes in international piano competitions, and gaining admission to leading universities and conservatories worldwide.
In addition to his renowned global experience, Dr. Chen brings his wealth of knowledge and influence to the Holy Names Music Center as our Executive Director. With prior faculty roles at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and TU Dublin Conservatory of Music, his expertise spans worldwide. As the Founder & Artistic Director of the Dublin International Piano Festival & Summer Academy, and Co-Director at the Piano Academy of Ireland, Dr. Chen has consistently demonstrated leadership in the field. His active involvement in esteemed organizations such as MTNA, CMS, SMTA, and EPTA further enhances his contribution to our institution. Regularly invited to master classes and national and international piano competitions as an adjudicator, his insights and evaluations are highly valued. At Holy Names Music Center, Dr. Chen’s commitment to music education continues to shape and inspire a new generation of talented pianists, nurturing their eagerness to learn and grow under his expert guidance.