Marshall Miles Interviews Melvin Chen, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival

Melvin Chen

Deputy DeanYale School of Music

Professor in the Practice of PianoYale School of Music

DirectorNorfolk Chamber Music Festival

At YSM Since: 2012

Melvin Chen

A native of Tennessee, Dr. Melvin Chen has received acclaim for solo and chamber performances throughout the United States, Canada, and Asia. Chen’s performances have been featured on radio and television stations around the world, including KBS television and radio in Korea, NHK television in Japan, and NPR in the United States.  

As a Professor in the Practice of Piano, Chen teaches a studio of graduate and undergraduate piano students. In addition, he is the Deputy Dean at the Yale School of Music, a role that involves overseeing academic affairs and general institutional management, and also serves as Director of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival–Yale Summer School of Music, where he also performs. Previously, Chen was Associate Director and on the piano faculty at the Bard College Conservatory of Music and served as Artistic Director of the chamber music program at the Hotchkiss School Summer Portals.

Chen earned a doctorate in chemistry from Harvard University and holds a double master’s degree from The Juilliard School in piano and violin. He received his bachelor of science degree in chemistry and physics from Yale University, where he studied with Boris Berman, Paul Kantor, and Ida Kavafian. 

Chen’s notable solo recordings include Beethoven’s “Diabelli” Variations (Bridge Records), which the American Record Guide described as “a classic,” piano music by Joan Tower (Naxos Records), and sonatas and other pianos works by Shostakovich (Bridge Records), among others.


For over 100 years, music lovers have enjoyed concerts performed on the stage of the superb Music Shed. This summer is no exception.

Festival Artist Concerts

Performances featuring a spectacular array of the Festival’s outstanding artists and Fellows.


Brentano Quartet in the Music Shed, Norfolk Festival

Musical Bridges

Special Event 
Wu Man―GRAMMY-nominated pipa virtuoso and founding member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road project―in a new work by celebrated composer Angel Lam.


Wu Man, pipa virtuoso

Piano Extravaganza

Special Event 
A concert featuring music for multiple pianos.


Norfolk Gala

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Special Event
The Grammy-winning PBO return to Norfolk with a program featuring  works of Handel. 


Philharmonia Baroque

Emerging Artist Series

Catch a rising star as the Emerging Artist Series features performances by the next generation of professional chamber artists.


Fellow Quartet

New Music Recital

A performance featuring premieres by the Fellows of the New Music Workshop. Part of the Emerging Artist Series.


Norfolk New Music


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