New Jersey Symphony Names Assistant Conductor

Conductor Tong Chen was given the role for the 2021/22 season

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Taking to the stage in November, Chen will make her New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) subscription series debut with performances of Jessie Montgomery’s "Starburst."

She will also share the podium with Music Director Xian Zhang for the Lunar New Year Celebration in January.

Serving as a cover conductor with the NJSO for the past five years, Chen will serve as cover conductor for subscription concerts this season — and will serve as an artistic resource for the orchestra and conductor of NJSO’s chamber programs.

“I am thrilled to officially join the NJSO family in the 2021–22 season!” Chen said. “This season will be exhilarating for me to deepen my relationship with the incredible musicians from the Orchestra; my dear mentor, Music Director Xian Zhang, the fantastic artistic planning team and staff at the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. I can’t wait to start this great opportunity and collaboration!”

Most recently, Chen led the NJSO Chamber Players in a performance of Ives’ “The Unanswered Question” at The Newark Museum of Art in June. This season also marks Chen’s 6th anniversary as Music Director of the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra.

A student of Gustav Meier at the Peabody Conservatory, where she received her Master's Degree in conducting, she attended the Aspen Music Festival where she worked with David Zinman as well as the Cabrillo Festival where she studied with Marin Alsop.

Chen was also a protégé of the former Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, Kurt Masur.

In the recent seasons, she has led the Louisiana Philharmonic, Shanghai Philharmonic, and the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra. She has worked with the Leipzig Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. In 2015, she made her Lincoln Center debut with the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Orchestra of St. Luke's.