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Pacific Symphony to feature conductor Mei-Ann Chen in “Rachmaninoff’s Second

Mei-Ann Chen, the first woman to win the Malko International Conductors Competition (2005), will lead as guest conductor in Pacific Symphony’s upcoming piano concerto—“Rachmaninoff’s Second”— Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 9-11, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

“Rachmaninoff’s Second” will be performed by Kirill Gerstein, who was named the sixth recipient of the 2010 Gilmore Artist Award—a prestigious award described by The New York Times as “music’s answer to the MacArthur Foundation ‘genius’ grants.” The award is only given every four years to a pianist of exceptional ability and profound musicianship. As the Boston Globe stated, the Russian-born pianist is “on the fast track to a major career, and he deserves to be.”

“Rachmaninoff’s Second” takes place Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 9-11, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. A preview talk with Alan Chapman begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25-$105; for more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org

Born in Taiwan, guest conductor Chen has lived in the United States since 1989 and recently concluded a highly successful tenure as assistant conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. She currently is serving a one-year appointment as assistant conductor and League of American Orchestras conducting fellow of the Baltimore Symphony. Her guest conducting engagements take her worldwide. Awarded the 2007 Taki Concordia Fellowship, Chen has appeared jointly with Marin Alsop and Stefan Sanderling in highly acclaimed subscription concerts with the Baltimore Symphony, Colorado Symphony and Florida Orchestra.

In 2002, Chen was unanimously selected as music director of the Portland Youth Philharmonic in Oregon. During her five-year tenure with the orchestra, she led its sold-out debut in Carnegie Hall and received an ASCAP award for innovative programming. She was honored with a Sunburst Award from Young Audiences for her contribution to music education.She holds a doctor of musical arts degree in conducting from the University of Michigan and was the first student in New England Conservatory’s history to receive double master’s degrees simultaneously in violin and conducting.

Pacific Symphony’s Classical series performances are made possible by the Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation, with additional support from the Symphony’s official airline, American Airlines; official hotel, The Westin South Coast Plaza, official classical music station, KUSC; and official television station, KOCE-TV.

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