​Chinese-born performing pianist Xiao Chen serves as lecturer in piano and principal musician at University of California, Los Angeles, and music coach at Mount Saint Mary's University. She received her master degree from Juilliard and doctoral degree from UCLA. She founded this festival in hopes to further young musicians in their professional careers. Founded upon her concept of music making — an art that is not only about performance, but also about the exploration and subsequently, expression of oneself through music — she hopes to guide students in the ability to convey their own identity in their own music making. By focusing on students' imagination, creativity, and performing skills in music. the festival helps them explore and understand music from diverse perspectives. 


Ms. Chen is a frequent recitalist and concert artist throughout the U.S., China, and Europe. She has performed many concerts in prestigious halls including Carnegie Hall, Fisher Center for Performing Arts, and Shanghai Concert Hall. Her solo recital in Shanghai Concert Hall was well received and interviewed by Shanghai Youth Daily (“Her energetic, exquisite, breathtaking performance impressed the audience”). Her performance of Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto with UCLA Symphony was the highlight of the concert season.  

Ms. Chen is the prize winner of many competitions including Frances Walton Competition, American Protege International Competition, The Muse International Competition, The American Prize, ‘London’ Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition, and Steinway & Sons International Youth Piano Competition China Regional Competition. As a winner of Frances Walton Competition, she played a concert tour in Washington State and performed a solo piano program on radio live broadcast concert at Classical KING FM 98.1.

Ms. Chen received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree under Inna Faliks from University of California, Los Angeles. She obtained her Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School in New York, where she studied with Jerome Lowenthal. She attended Bard College with a double major – Receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Bard College Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Language and Literature from Bard College. She studied with Melvin Chen at Bard.

Ms. Chen has been invited to perform in numerous music festivals including The Morningside Bridge Summer Festival, Yellow Barn Music Festival, Pianofest Summer Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Manchester Music Festival, and Italy Perugia Music Fest. Over the years, she has worked with such renowned pianists as Gary Graffman, Seymour Lipkin, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Richard Goode, Peter Frankl, Claude Frank, Wu Han, Ann Schein, Paul Schenly, Joseph Lin, Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, and Shanghai Quartet.

Additionally, Ms. Chen has appeared in outreach tours. Last year, she went to 20 schools in Washington States and performed for more than 2000 students. She also often collaborated with Education Through Music – Los Angeles and taught in different schools. In addition, as part of UCLA Gluck Ensemble, she has performed in numerous schools and senior centers in Los Angeles.

Ms. Chen is also an experienced and artistic teacher. She has taught undergraduate piano performance students, as well as piano for students majoring in music education and composition at UCLA. She enjoys giving lectures and speeches on various music topics. She successfully presented a two-hour lecture on “Art of listening” in Schoenberg Hall. She also often gave concerts and speeches in Santa Monica Emeritus College. 


Peijun (June) Xu is a Co-founder of MAP (Marker and Pioneer) International Cultural Exchange Center, a member of ASTA (American String Teachers Association) and holding a Teaching Certificate of Violin issued by Shanghai Musicians Association. She has more than four years of coaching experience in youth orchestras including Claremont Youth Symphony Orchestra and Foothill Christian Legacy Youth Orchestra to teach orchestral skills to young musicians.


Peijun has earned a master’s degree of Music Education (M.M. Instrumental Emphasis) of Azusa Pacific University (APU) under the guidance of Dr. John Burdett. She is also a Teaching Assistant with Dr. John Burdett, the Director of Music Education, for the Thesis Projects in Graduate School of Music at APU. With two years of practicing, rehearsing and performing in several orchestras such as Azusa Pacific University Symphony Orchestra, Claremont Symphony Orchestra, and having attended violin classes from the studio of Dr. Alex Russell, Peijun became a candidate for the Artist Certificate program at APU to pursue further professional performing skills in violin and viola.


Currently, Peijun is a violist of APU Symphony Orchestra and she is also the editor of School of Music at APU’s WeChat Page, a Chinese social platform for promoting APU’s reputation in China. In 2018, she was invited to publish two Chinese articles, titled “the K-12 Music Education system in the United States”, in the Music Education column of Music Lover Magazine, one of the most influential classical music publications in China, and she has become one of the authors of the Music Education column. Since 2010, she has been active in Asia and countries around the Pacific every year and has been invited to Japan, Australia and the United States to participate in various symphony concerts and music festivals.


Peijun graduated from The Institute for Tourism at Shanghai Normal University, majoring in Tourism Management. Five years of experience in the Outbound Division of China Outbound Travel Services have her accumulate a large number of cultural communication and coordination skills between the East and West in long-term outbound travel business.

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