Ray Chen, the outstanding young violinist, has signed to Decca Classics in a major new recording deal and multimedia partnership which celebrates his exceptional musicianship and unique style.
The critically-acclaimed performer, who’s amassed a huge online following (including more than 2 million fans on SoundCloud) through quirky, self-made videos and engaging social media posts, will be embarking on a new recording series with the legendary classical label, entering the studio later this year.
Ray says: “I’m super stoked to be joining forces with the awesome team at Decca Classics. We'll be working together on a variety of projects which include the recordings of classic repertoire that everyone loves but I'm happy that I'll have a partner which will help boost the multimedia side of things too.”
Dr. Alexander Buhr, Managing Director of Decca Classics, comments: “We are very excited to welcome Ray to the Decca family. Not only is he a terrific performer with stunning virtuosity, he is also an extraordinary communicator – on stage, on record and online. With his infectious energy and innovative approach, Ray is forging a new path for classical music in the digital sphere and is at the forefront of a new generation of artists on Decca Classics.”
Winner of the Queen Elisabeth and Yehudi Menuhin Competitions, Ray Chen is among the most compelling young violinists today. He has performed with many of the world’s leading musicians in concert halls across the globe, and will be returning to London tomorrow (Friday 13th January) to perform Brahms’ Violin Concerto at the Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Manfred Honeck.
Ray Chen started learning the violin when he was four years old and was accepted into the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music at 15, where he studied with Aaron Rosand and was supported by Young Concert Artists. After winning the Yehudi Menuhin Competition in 2008, Ray came to the attention of renowned violinist Maxim Vengerov, who described him as “a very pure musician with great qualities such as a beautiful youthful tone, vitality and lightness.” Last year, Ray returned to the competition as their youngest ever juror.
In 2012, Ray became the youngest soloist ever to perform in the televised Nobel Prize Concert for the Nobel Laureates and the Swedish Royal Family. His Carnegie Hall debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Sakari Oramo, as well as his sold-out Musikverein concert with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly were met with standing ovations.
Ray, who has released three albums on Sony, recently completed a five-city tour of China with the Gothenburg Symphony and Kent Nagano as well as a European tour with the LPO and Christoph Eschenbach. Other highlights include his debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, a recital at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and a Bastille Day performance with Daniele Gatti and the Orchestre National de France for a televised concert on the Champs-de-Mars in Paris in front of an audience of over 800,000.
Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, Ray plays the 1715 “Joachim” Stradivarius violin on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation. This instrument is one of the five 1715 violins once owned by the famed Hungarian violinist, Joseph Joachim (1831-1907).