New Sony signing: Ray Chen

Martin Cullingford29th Mar 2010
Ray Chen signs to Sony (photo: Juliya Smolnikova)Ray Chen signs to Sony (photo: Juliya Smolnikova)

Sony Classical has signed violinist Ray Chen on an exclusive, multi-disc contract.

Winner of the Yehudi Menuhin Competition (2008) and the Queen Elisabeth Competition (2009), Chen’s first album for the label is due for release in late 2010. Described as a selection of pieces - from Bach to Sarasate - that reflect his “talent as well as his compelling personality”, it will be followed in 2011 by an orchestral recording of late 19th century virtuoso works.

Born in 1989, Chen grew up in Australia before studying at the Curtis Institute of Music. His champions include violinist Maxim Vengerov who heard him while sitting on the jury of the Menuhin competition. “Ray has proven himself to be a very pure musician with great qualities such as a beautiful youthful tone, vitality and lightness. He has all the skills of a truly musical interpreter,” said Vengerov.

Bogdan Roscic, Sony Classical president, described the decision to sign Chen as being “as immediate as with Gustavo Dudamel a few years ago”.

“I was absolutely convinced only minutes into the very first piece I ever heard from him. Since then, I have become acquainted with a young musician who seems to have it all: an amazing, instantly recognisable tone; a charismatic personality and a musical authority quite unusual for someone his age,” Roscic continued.

Sony's announcement follows its recent signings of high profile pianists Lang Lang and Simone Dinnerstein in January.

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