“A star violinist has a way of reflecting the essence of an era,” writes Lisa Houston in Sunday’s (10/21) San Francisco Classical Voice. “Enter Ray Chen, a 29-year-old Taipei-born Australian with award-winning technique, an open-bordered personality, and a YouTube following worthy of a pop star. Yes, you can hear him playing Mendelssohn … but you can also watch him eating dim sum … trying to sneak into a practice room at Juilliard…. ‘Right after the [economic] crash … from 2009 or 10, to 2014 …was basically when my career began, so there was something that was needed,’ says Chen. ‘I first started the funny videos in 2014…. The videos aren’t for the presenters, they’re for the kids out there.… I’ve always used humor to break the ice, and it works, especially if you keep your humor PG.… But now people don’t even question whether or not it’s the right thing to do.’ … Chen [has] had his share of critiques [and] is working … to let students of classical music know that if they are feeling discouraged or alienated, they are not alone, [with] a motivational series of videos on dealing with insecurity.’ ”

Posted October 23, 2018