Pei-Wen Chen was born in Taipei, Taiwan, graduated from the National Academy of Art with the highest honors and entered the Mannes College, The New School for Music in New York, studying with Nina Svetlanova. Shortly after graduating from Mannes in 1995, Ms. Chen made her debut at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Since then, Ms. Chen has regularly performed solo and chamber music works throughout the U.S and Europe. She performs and records frequently with her husband, pianist Alexander Paley: each fall at the Alexander Paley Chamber Music Festival in Richmond, VA, as well as in Paley’s April festival in Moulin d’Andé, France.
In 2001, Ms. Chen made her Paris debut at Salle Olivier Messiaen in Maison de Radio France with Liszt’s Concerto Pathétique, for two pianos and in 2003 performed Rimsky-Korsakov’s own 4-hand version of his Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov in Seattle, broadcast worldwide on king.org. In 2004, Ms. Chen performed the Mozart and Mendelssohn Piano Concertos for two pianos with the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra. Recordings of Ms. Chen playing Scheherazade, the complete 4-hand cycles by Dvorák, and works by Johann Christian Bach, Charles Valentin Alkan, and Tchaikovsky are available on CD (Alexander Paley Music Festival LIVE). In 2009 she gave a gala concert in the National Concert Hall in Taipei to raise funds for young Taiwanese musicians. In 2011, Ms. Chen performed Mozart Concertos for 2 and 3 pianos in Klaipėda, Lithuania and the complete J.S. Bach Concertos for 2 pianos in Chișinău, Moldova. In 2013-14, Ms. Chen’s performances included the Schumann Piano Concerto with Centre Symphony Orchestra in NYC, concerts in the United States and France, as well as music director for New York City productions of Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor, Menotti’s The Telephone and Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea.
As a vocal coach, Ms. Chen has worked with artists such as Licia Albanese, Elly Ameling, Marta Eggerth-Kiepura, Evelyn Lear, Regina Resnik, Ruth Falcon, Deborah Voigt and Jon Vickers. In 1998, she joined the production of Fedora alongside Plácido Domingo and Mirella Freni at the Washington National Opera. Ms. Chen served as a pianist for the Metropolitan Opera Guild Productions and Amato Opera in New York for many seasons and has been a member of music staff for IVAI in Virginia as well as a member of the faculty for Sherrill Milnes’s VOICExperience in Florida. Ms. Chen is on the faculty of Mannes College of Music.