Artistic Director and Founder
Chinese-born pianist XIAO CHEN is currently on faculty at Mount Saint Mary’s University, having served as Lecturer in Piano Performance at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) in 2019. Ms. Chen actively engaged as both soloist and chamber musician throughout the U.S., China, and Europe, having performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Fischer Center for Performing Arts, and Shanghai Concert Hall. Her performances have been well received by many; Peninsula Reviews praised her playing as a “knock-out performance, and one we would love to hear again”, while Shanghai Youth Daily said “her energetic and breathtaking performance impressed the audience”. In 2020, she released her new solo piano album with SHEVA Collection.
Ms. Chen is the prize winner of many competitions including The American Prize, Frances Walton Competition, Carmel Music Society Piano Competition, The Muse International Competition, ‘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. She also serves as jury in many music and piano competitions, including New West Symphony Piano Competition in Los Angeles, "Pearl River Keyserburg" International Youth Piano Competition, and Hainan Airline Piano Competition.
Additionally, Ms. Chen has participated as a pedagogue and an educator on occasions. She was invited to collaborated with Bard Conservatory US-China Music Institute and designed a new piano course for young students in China. Ms. Chen has also collaborated with Chinese educational organizations and published several online courses for piano performance practice. In 2017, She partook in an outreach tour in Washington State that spanned over 20 schools, teaching and performing for more than 2000 students. Similarly, she has performed for and taught students in collaboration with Education Through Music-Los Angeles. Ms. Chen has been invited to give talks and concerts as a recurring guest at the Santa Monica Emeritus College and at UCLA.
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 under Melvin Chen from Bard College Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Language and Literature from Bard 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.