As an active performer and educator in the Chicago area, conductor Eli Chen pursues a wide range of musical interests. He has led performances with ensembles including Northwestern’s Undergraduate Company of Opera Singers, the South Loop Symphony, and the Berlin Sinfonietta. As an advocate for new music, Chen has worked with the Chicago Composers Orchestra on the lost opera Andina as well as at the inaugural 2016 Ear Taxi Chicago Festival of New Music. He has also collaborated with the acclaimed Fifth House Ensemble on multiple projects, including the first U.S. tour of Mike Mills’ Concerto for Violin, Rock Band, and String Orchestra with Robert McDuffie. Chen is the current music director of the Trinity Community Philharmonic Orchestra at Trinity International University, teaches at the Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra Project, and is Principal Conductor of the Ravenswood Community Orchestra.
Chen received his Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Virginia, where he studied music and biochemistry. He went on to receive a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern under the tutelage of Victor Yampolsky. He has also studied in masterclasses in the U.S. and overseas with other pedagogues, including David Effron, Larry Rachleff, Cliff Colnot, Kenneth Kiesler, and Mark Gibson. In 2015-2016, Chen participated in the Chicago Sinfonietta’s Project Inclusion Conducting Freeman Fellowship, where he was mentored by Mei-Ann Chen and other industry professionals.