Violinist Jiafeng Chen was born in Shanghai. At the age of 16 he won the 1st Prize at the Wieniawski International Competition for Young Violinists in Lublin with further prizes awarded from the European Union Music Competition and the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music. He won the 2nd Prize at the Jean Sibelius International Violin Competition in Helsinki at the age of 18. Other major prizes include the 2nd prize at the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition and the 2nd prize at the Windsor International String Competition in UK. He is also a Laureate of the Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition in Brussels. Furthermore, he was awarded the Paganini Prize at the Indianapolis International Violin Competition in USA.
Jiafeng Chen studied with professors Peter Shixiang Zhang, Jiyang Zhao, Lei Fang, Jan Repko, Ronald Copes and Cho-Liang Lin. After his studies at the Primary and Middle Schools Affiliated to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Chetham’s School of Music, he went on to study at the Royal College of Music in London (BMus honours) and The Juilliard School in NYC (Master of Music) with full scholarships.
The centuries-old Worshipful Company of Musicians in UK awarded him a special Medal for his outstanding achievements and contributions during his studies at the Royal College of Music graduation ceremony. After his studies, he was appointed a violin professor at the RCM, and he also teaches at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Chetham’s School of Music, where his students won concerto competitions and scholarships.
He was praised as “not only technically brilliant but also subtle, deeply felt and astonishingly mature” (Nottingham Evening Post); and “classically poised and flashy” (BBC). Jiafeng Chen’s career as a soloist has taken him to all six continents. He has been heard as a soloist with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera National de Nancy, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, Ukrainian National Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra (U.K.), amongst others and at major concert halls including the Finlandia Hall, Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall. He has collaborated with violinists David Chan and Cho-Liang Lin; cellists Nan-Cheng Chen and Gary Hoffman; and conductors Paavo Berglund, Paul Goodwin, Lorin Maazel, Paolo Olmi, Petri Sakari, John Storgårds and Gilbert Varga. He has performed solo concerts at the Beijing International Chamber Music Festival broadcasted by CCTV Music Channel, Shanghai Spring International Music Festival, Lake District Summer Music, BBC Proms in UK broadcasted by BBC Radio 3, Verbier Festival in Switzerland broadcasted by France Musique, Valdres Sommersymfoni in Norway, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest in USA, opening gala of the Menuhin Violin Competition, the Kloster Schontal Violin Competition, and performed as a guest concertmaster with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Jiafeng Chen’s artistry has also supported humanitarian causes. After he heard the earthquake in Sichuan in 2008, he organized many recitals in the UK and Italy, where he raised over £4800 to support the students from Sichuan as scholarships. He also performed at fundraising events organised by the British Red Cross. English National Opera, Dance Umbrella International Festival and the Royal College of Music. In 2019, he went to South Africa with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire as part of the “ARCO” music education project to help the students there.
Jiafeng Chen plays a Nicolo Gagliano violin (Naples, 1751) kindly on loan from a generous group of owners.