Trio Oriens draws together three outstanding musicians from the island nation of Taiwan. After launching a successful inaugural season in the spring of 2010, the trio quickly became one of the most active chamber music ensembles in the Houston area. Recognized for their intelligent artistry, Trio Oriens brings innovative programs and diverse repertoire to its audiences. The trio specializes in historically informed interpretations of classical period works, Taiwanese/Chinese music, Latin American and Contemporary compositions. Trio Oriens is committed to ensemble collaboration with outstanding musicians and devoted to community outreach in local schools, nursing homes and churches. Their guest artists have included Richard Nunemaker, Franca Ma, Carla Hammock, Wei-Wei Wang, Rodica Oancea-Gonzalez, and Wei Jiang. Trio Oriens is resident artists of Houston Community College Southwest Fine Arts Center, and have performed regularly at the University of St. Thomas, Houston Baptist University, Christ King Lutheran Church, and the Crain Garden Series at the Methodist Hospital as well as in a variety of non-traditional venues in Houston, gaining a wide and dedicated following through their focus on audience development and outreach. They have appeared as featured guests on Houston Public Radio's Front Row, the premier on-air arts news magazine in Houston. In addition to their regular concerts, Trio Oriens can often be found working on unique projects. Their frequent collaborations with living composers include performances of new works by Houston composers Joe LoCascio and J. Todd Frazier. Their video recording of Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time was chosen to be part of a special Holocaust exhibit at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. Trio Oriens is currently working on their first recording project and planning concert tours in Asia and South America. Recently they have been invited to be on the faculty of the Interharmony International Summer Festival in Germany.
I-Ling Chen, Annual Distinguished Young Artist of Taiwan in 1999, received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland in December 2002. As former staff/faculty member of Moores School of Music, University of Houston and Howard Community College in Columbia Maryland, Dr. Chen has always dedicated herself to both performing and teaching piano.Dr. Chen was born and raised in Taiwan. She first started playing the piano when she was five years old. As the winner of the Tai-Chung City Concerto Competition, I-Ling Chen was invited numerous times to play with the Tai-Chung City Symphony Orchestra between 1988 and 1990. Through a national honors program, Dr. Chen was selected to attend the National Taipei University of the Arts, the most prestigious performing arts institution in Taiwan. She received many prizes and awards during her college years, including the First Prize Winner of the Taiwan National Piano Competition in 1992 and 1995. After receiving the Special Prize in Best Collaborative Pianist in the Kuan-Tu New Voice Competition, Dr. Chen wanted to expand her repertoire into operas and chamber music. Subsequently, she worked at the National Taipei Opera Workshop and had numerous performances at the National Theatre in Taipei.
In 1995, I-Ling attended the music festival at Johanesen International School of Music in Vancouver, Canada. During the music festival, she was the Winner of The Stars of Today and Tomorrow and was invited to play the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 for the festival's final concert. One year later, Dr. Chen received a scholarship from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts to study piano performance with Ms. Patricia Zander. I-Ling Chen had many concerts in Boston, including a recital with Lawrence Wolfe at Symphony Hall.
After completing her Master of Music degree in 1998, Dr. Chen became a staff pianist at both the New England Conservatory and the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts and continued to perform frequently in the Boston area. After relocating to Maryland for her doctoral study in 1999, Dr. Chen was invited on the music faculty of Howard Community College, where she taught piano and chamber music. She also served as the conductor of the Columbia Choir in Columbia, Maryland. She moved to Houston in 2009, and is one of the founders of Trio Oriens. As the pianist of Houston Independent School District's Honor Choir, Dr. Chen is also involved with school and community activities.
A love of music born in Taiwan and cultivated in Costa Rica, Mr. Johnny Chang received both Bachelor and Licentiate Degrees in Violin Performance from the University of Costa Rica , San Jose , Costa Rica . Mr. Chang continued his graduate studies in the United States where he obtained the Artist Diploma from Saint Louis Conservatory of Music, and the Master Degree in Violin Performance from Rice University . His mentors include Walter Field, Jose Aurelio Castillo, Taras Gabora, Jaime Laredo, Kenneth Goldsmith, Edward Lawrence and William Pu.
As a young violinist, he participated in numerous music festival orchestras in the United States of America and Canada under the direction of internationally renowned conductors, including Leonard Slatkin, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, David Zinman and Christoph Eschenbach. Mr. Chang attended and performed in Master Classes with world acclaimed violinists Pinchas Zukerman, Ruggiero Ricci, Fredell Lack, Jaime Laredo, Midori, Cho-Liang Lin and Andres Cardenes. As well, he has toured and performed as a member of the Costa Rican Youth Symphony Orchestra in Latin America including Argentina, Venezuela, Honduras, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico, where he was selected to perform at the world prestigious Casals Festival.
Mr. Chang has performed professionally with orchestras in Costa Rica and the United States of American including the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Theater Under the Stars, Opera in the Heights, Gilbert and Sullivan Opera, Symphony of Southeast Texas, Corpus Christi Symphony, etc. His solo highlights began with a concert tour with the Costa Rican Youth Symphony in Venezuela and Argentina . Additional solo performances included Saint Louis Conservatory Chamber Orchestra, the National Music Conservatory Chamber Orchestra of Costa Rica and the Houston Civic Symphony.
Mr. Chang has been one of the most active performers and educators in the city of Houston . Beyond his busy performance schedule, Mr. Chang maintains a music studio with many young and talented students, many of whom progressing to achieve numerous awards and competitions in the area. He has also coached the violin section in both the Houston Youth Symphony and the Greater Houston Youth Orchestra,and has been frequently invited as a guest clinician for many high schools All-State Workshops. As well, he currently is the Violin Professor of the Music Department of Houston Community College.
A native of Taiwan, cellist Olive Chen has been active in Houston music scene for many years. Mrs. Chen has performed as soloist or principal cellist in the Symphony of Southeast Texas, Woodlands Symphony, Opera on The Heights and other orchestras. Before coming to the United States, Mrs. Chen was a member of the Taipei City Symphony Orchestra. Olive Chen has performed professionally in Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Korea, The Philippines, Hong Kong and in many major cities in the United States.
Born into a musical family, she started her music training at the age of three. During her early training and development as a cellist, she competed in and won a number of national youth competitions in Taiwan. Subsequently, she was admitted to Soo-Chow University in Taipei, Taiwan as one of a number of specially selected young musicians with extraordinary talent. She received her master’s degree from Rice University, Shepherd Music School in 1993 studying under the tutelage of principal cello teachers Shirley Trepel, former principal cellist of Houston Symphony and David Finckel, cellist of the Emerson String Quartet, highlighted at the Aspen Music Festival.
Olive Chen is recognized as an outstanding cello teacher in the greater Houston area where she operates her own music studio. She has also taught cello at Houston Community College, Houston Youth Symphony, Fort Bend Independent School District and Conroe Independent School District. A number of her students have excelled and performed admirably in various contests and performances in Texas.
Mrs. Chen currently resides in Missouri City, Texas with her husband Mark, a professional photographer and their daughter, Marcia, also a talented cellist.