The Golden Age Ray Chen

Cover The Golden Age

Album info



Label: Decca Music Group Limited

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Chamber Music

Artist: Ray Chen

Composer: Stephan Koncz, Erik Satie (1866-1925), Cuellar Manuel Maria Ponce, Max Bruch (1838-1920), Claude Debussy (1862-1918), George Gershwin (1989-1937), Cyril Scott (1879-1970), Fritz Kreisler 1875–1962

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • Stephan Koncz (1984- ): / Erik Satie (1866-1925):
  • 1A New Satiesfaction (Gymnopédie No. 1)04:33
  • Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962):
  • 2Syncopation02:04
  • Manuel Ponce (1882-1948):
  • 3Estrellita (Arr. Heifetz)03:37
  • Max Bruch (1838-1920): Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26
  • 41. Vorspiel (Allegro moderato)08:44
  • 52. Adagio09:26
  • 63. Finale (Allegro energico)07:40
  • Claude Debussy (1862-1918): Suite bergamasque, L. 75:
  • 73. Clair de lune (Arr. Koncz)04:39
  • Fritz Kreisler:
  • 8Schön Rosmarin02:17
  • George Gershwin (1898-1937): Porgy and Bess:
  • 9Summertime (Arr. Heifetz)01:57
  • Cyril Scott (1879-1970):
  • 10Lotus Land (Arr. Kreisler)05:11
  • Traditional:
  • 11Waltzing Matilda (Arr. Koncz)03:16
  • Total Runtime53:24

Info for The Golden Age

One of today’s most charismatic young violinists, Ray Chen, reveals his early-awaited new album The Golden Age – a thrilling collection of chamber and orchestral works. The album, set to release on June 8 via Decca Records/Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company, arrives as his first from Decca Classics since signing to the label last year.

Recognized as a musician of “phenomenal talent” by The Washington Post, Chen has handpicked a selection of works for his new album which celebrates the ‘golden age’ of the violin – not only in terms of repertoire, but also in performance style and ingenuity. The centrepiece is Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto which was recorded in August last year with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Robert Trevino.

The album opens with a piece for string quartet which has already garnered over 50,000 hits on Chen’s YouTube channel. Titled, “A New Satiesfaction”, it features “Gymnopédie No.1” by Erik Satie with an allusion to Rossini’s “William Tell Overture”. Performed by Chen and his Made in Berlin quartet, the arrangement of “A New Satiesfaction” is done by the group’s cellist, Stephan Koncz. The other violinist in the quartet is Noah Bendix-Balgley while Amihai Grosz plays viola. All of Chen’s collaborators in the group are members of the Berlin Philharmonic and they recorded together in the city last November.

The album also features compositions and arrangements by such legendary violinists as Fritz Kreisler and Jascha Heifetz, which Chen performs with pianist Julien Quentin. Among them are Kreisler’s “Syncopation and Schön Rosmarin” and Cyril Scott’s “Lotus Land”, plus Heifetz’s transcriptions of “Estrellita” by Manuel Ponce and George Gershwin’s “Summertime”. Stephan Koncz has also arranged Debussy’s Clair de lune and the traditional Australian favourite “Waltzing Matilda” (Ray hails from Australia and Taiwan).

Chen teased The Golden Age with a custom-built computer game: “This album acknowledges the various styles of the past, but also retains one important philosophy: as long as we keep inspiring and producing, perhaps what we create now will one day be deemed worthy of being named a golden age,” says Chen.

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 he has also amassed a huge online following (including more than 2 million fans on SoundCloud) through quirky, self-made videos and engaging social media posts.

Ray Chen, violin
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Robert Trevino, conductor

Ray Chen
Winner of the Queen Elisabeth (2009) and Yehudi Menuhin Competitions (2008), Ray Chen is among the most compelling young violinists today. “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 the great Maxim Vengerov.

Ray has released two critically acclaimed albums on Sony: a recital program “Virtuoso” of works by Bach, Tartini, Franck, and Wieniawski, and the Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky concertos with Swedish Radio Orchestra and Daniel Harding. Following the success of these recordings, Ray was profiled by The Strad and Gramophone magazines as “the one to watch”. “Virtuoso” was distinguished with the prestigious ECHO Klassik award. His third recording, an all-Mozart album with Christoph Eschenbach and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, was released in January 2014.

Ray continues to win the admiration of fans and fellow musicians worldwide. In 2012, he 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. Since the 2012- 13 season, Ray has been invited to join Konzerthaus Dortmund's series “Junge Wilde,” which presents young and groundbreaking artists in Germany. Later this season, Ray will make his San Francisco recital debut at the SF Jazz Center. He also looks forward to his upcoming recital tour of Australia and his debuts with the Orchestre National de France and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Followed by over 1.5 million people people on SoundCloud, Ray Chen looks to expand the classical music audience by increasing its appeal to the young generation via all available social media platforms. He is the first ever classical musician to be invited to write a regular blog about his life as a touring soloist for the largest Italian publishing house, RCS Rizzoli (Corriere della Sera, Gazzetta dello Sport, Max). In his unstinting efforts to break down barriers between classical music, fashion and pop culture, he is supported by Giorgio Armani and was recently featured in Vogue magazine.

Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, Ray was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music at age 15, where he studied with Aaron Rosand and was supported by Young Concert Artists. He plays the 1715 "Joachim" Stradivarius violin on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

Booklet for The Golden Age

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