Mai-Ann Chen
(c) Kristin Hoebermann

The Chicago Sinfonietta has renewed the contract of its 36-year-old Music Director Mei-Ann Chen through to the end of the 2028/29 season — adding another four years to her tenure. Chen has held the position since 2011.

The first-prize winner at the 2005 Malko Competition and the winner of the 2007 Taki Concordia Fellowship (founded by Marin Alsop), Mei-Ann Chen received her undergraduate degree in violin performance from the New England Conservatory — before becoming the first student in the school’s history to be awarded simultaneous master’s degrees in violin and conducting.

Alongside her position at the Chicago Sinfonietta, Chen has been Chief Conductor of Austria’s Grosses Orchester Graz at Styriarte since Fall 2021 (following two seasons as the orchestra’s first-ever Principal Guest Conductor), making her the first female Asian conductor to hold this position with an Austrian orchestra.

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