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Students, Faculty + Alumni

Melvin Chen returns to Yale

Melvin Chen has been appointed Associate Professor of Piano (adjunct) at the Yale School of Music. In announcing this faculty position, Dean Robert Blocker has also appointed Chen to serve as Deputy Dean of the School. Blocker commented: “Melvin Chen’s longstanding relationship with Yale College and the School of Music, his international profile as an artist, and his successful tenure as Associate Dean at Bard College make him ideally suited for his work at the new deputy dean in the School of Music. We look forward to welcoming him back to Yale.”

As a pianist, Chen has performed at major venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Jordan Hall, and the Kennedy Center, in addition to appearances throughout Canada and Asia. His performances have been featured on radio and television stations around the globe, and his solo recordings include Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations on the Bridge label, praised as “a classic” by the American Record Guide. He has also released recordings of Joan Tower’s piano music (Naxos); the Shostakovich piano sonatas (Bridge); and Ricky Ian Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice (Ghostlight).

Melvin Chen was a member of the Yale School of Music faculty from 2000 to 2005. More recently, he has served as the associate director of the Bard College Conservatory of Music as well as a member of the piano faculty. He is also the artistic director of the chamber music program at the Hotchkiss Summer Portals.

Mr. Chen’s chamber music partners have included such artists as Ida Kavafian, Steven Tenenbom, David Shifrin, Steven Isserlis, Pamela Frank, and Peter Wiley; the Shanghai, Tokyo, Borromeo, and Miró quartets; and the Da Capo Chamber Players and the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble. He is an alumnus of CMS Two, a program of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and has performed at festivals including Bravo! Vail Valley, Music Mountain, Chautauqua, Norfolk (Connecticut), Chamber Music Northwest, Bard, and Music from Angel Fire.

As an undergraduate at Yale College, where he earned a B.S. in chemistry and physics, Melvin Chen studied piano with Boris Berman and violin with both Paul Kantor and Ida Kavafian. He then went on to receive a double master’s degree from the Juilliard School in piano and violin, as well as a doctorate in chemistry from Harvard University.

Paul Hawkshaw, who has served as Deputy Dean of the Yale School of Music since 2009, announced his intention to leave that post to focus on the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival/Yale Summer School of Music, where he has served as director since 2003. A specialist in the music of Anton Bruckner, Hawkshaw will also continue his scholarly activities.