July 26 - August 4
Born in New York to a Taiwanese diplomat, Rachel Yu Chen is a distinguished artist, pianist, and dedicated music educator, marking the first professional musician in her family.
Rachel's musical journey began at the Levine School in Washington D.C., where she received a Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship Foundation Scholarship, courtesy of NPR's "From the Top." Her classical training took her across the globe, from Washington D.C. to Taipei and Los Angeles. She continued her studies at The Colburn School’s prestigious Pre-College program in Los Angeles, laying the groundwork for her future success.
In 2007, Rachel represented Taiwan at the 40th International Piano Competition in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic, a milestone that led to a performance at Carnegie Hall for the 200th International Chopin Celebration Concert by the American Fine Arts Festival in 2010.
After graduating from high school, Rachel pursued her Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance at the University of Michigan under the tutelage of Logan Skelton. She continued her academic journey, earning a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, studying with notable professors such as John Ellis and Aya Higuchi Hagelthorn. Rachel recently graduated from Indiana University with a Doctorate of Music in Piano Performance, focusing on teaching students with special needs, particularly those with autism. She studied under the guidance of Roberto Plano.
Rachel has garnered first prizes in numerous prestigious competitions, including the Music Teacher National Association’s Senior Solo Piano Competition, Marlin-Engel Piano Competition, and the International Young Artist Piano Competition Featuring Chinese Music. Her talent has been celebrated through invitations to events at Carnegie Hall, the Colburn School’s Music Gala, and more.
In addition to her accomplishments in performance, Rachel is deeply involved in music education. She was faculty at the Preparatory Piano Lab Program (PPLP) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. PLP Program and at the Indiana University Young Pianists Pre-College Program in Bloomington.
Currently, she serves as the Core Faculty at the Levine School in Washington D.C. as well as the piano adjunct professor at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA NVCC). Her commitment to education extends to students with special needs, and her recent focus has been on teaching students with autism.
As an active member of the Music Teacher National Association (MTNA), Rachel has played pivotal roles, serving as the president of Indiana University’s MTNA Collegiate Chapter. Under her leadership, the chapter launched initiatives such as The Lunch Break Series, Peer Partnership Program, and Keys to the Future Concert Series. Rachel has also presented her academic work at MTNA conferences, addressing topics such as teaching piano to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
This year, Rachel is on the Board for the Washington DC Music Teacher Association (WMTA) as the Newsletter Chair, actively contributing to the local music education community. Beyond her academic and teaching roles, Rachel is the Co-founder of Musical Time, a community-focused project dedicated to fostering, inspiring, connecting, and mentoring the public through music education and performance. This initiative has showcased five live solo piano performances, interactive concerts, and a six-week summer piano workshop named ‘Music for All,’ delivered by students at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
Additionally, Rachel is an integral part of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) working group for Levine School's Tuition Assistance Program. This program supports young musicians and reflects Rachel's commitment to making music education accessible and inclusive. In summary, Rachel Yu Chen stands as a dynamic force in the world of classical music, seamlessly blending her roles as an accomplished artist, devoted educator, and advocate for the transformative power of music.