At the Josiah Quincy Orchestra Program we are proud to have an exceptional team with a diverse background of teaching and performance experiences. When our Teaching Artists are not teaching music lessons, they are pursuing their own professional careers as active performers, composers, music producers, dancers, and the list goes on.
This month, we are spotlighting JQOP Cello Teaching Artist, Stephanie Chen. Stephanie joined JQOP through our New England Conservatory CPP Teaching Fellowship partnership. After two years of supporting our JQOP team, we were excited to hire her as a Teaching Artist, working with our Villa-Lobos and Newbold Orchestras. Early this year, Stephanie traveled to Taipei, Taiwan to perform the Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor Op.85 with the Taipei Century Symphony Orchestra. After her performance, we took a moment to hear more about her experience.
Performing concertos is something Stephanie is quite familiar with. Her first concerto performance was with the Taipei Century Youth Orchestra at the age of 14. At that time, she had already performed four concertos! Prior to this performance, she played the Elgar concerto for audiences in New York, Taoyuan, and Taipei. In the spring of 2019, the Taipei Century Symphony Orchestra invited her to perform any concerto of her choice. "My immediate answer was, 'Elgar Cello Concerto,' Stephanie shared. "Growing up, I’ve always looked up to legendary cellist- Jacqueline du Pré, who was known for her Elgar Concerto. She played with so much passion and emotional, but so carefree at the same time."
Stephanie went on to share some of the most memorable sections of the concerto. Read more about her favorite moments while you watch her performance below.
"My favorite part of the concerto is definitely the very beginning of the piece. It starts off with a bold and rich recitative for solo cello followed by an elegant, flowing melody."
"Another part of the piece that I absolutely admire is the 4th movement ( ~'17:15 mins) because it’s wraps the whole piece together, using fragments of melody from the concerto’s earlier movements. At the very end of the piece (~'27:45 mins) the cello reiterates the opening theme and the orchestra concludes the piece triumphantly."
Stephanie Chen-a native of Taipei, Taiwan- is a cellist, performer, and educator. She is an active musician in both the Boston area and in Taiwan. Stephanie began piano and cello lessons with her mother at an early age, then continued her cello studies with Professor Yi-Ching Cheng. Stephanie holds a B.M degree in cello performance from the Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester) and an M.M degree from the New England Conservatory.