Yiwen Shen is a Chinese conductor, composer, and pianist, and he currently serves as the assistant dean of performance activities at The Tianjin Juilliard School.
Shen made his conducting debut in China with the National Ballet of China Symphony Orchestra at the National Performing Arts Center in Beijing. In Europe, he has worked with North Czech Philharmonic, Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, MÁV Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of Magna Graecia, Royal Camerata, Bucharest Philharmonic, and Bucharest Symphony Orchestra. In North America, he has worked with the Juilliard Orchestra, Prince George’s Philharmonic (MD), University of Maryland’s Symphony Orchestra and Repertoire Orchestra, as well as the Monteux Festival Orchestra.
Shen’s composition awards include the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award, Gena Raps String Quartet Award, and Arthur Friedman Prize; first prize from SCI/ASCAP Composition Commission; second prize from the First China Clarinet Composition Competition; winner of the Nashville Symphony’s Composer Lab, Minnesota Orchestra’s Composer Institute, and Albany Symphony’s Composer to Center Stage Competition; two top prizes from Chinese National Composition Competitions, Chinese Golden Bell Award, and Distinguished Achievement of the Year in Music Composition in Shanghai. Other highlights include major orchestral premieres with the Minnesota Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, American Symphony, Albany Symphony, Beijing Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, Shanghai Opera House Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, and Bard Conservatory Orchestra for its first international tour of China. His full-length ballet, The Crane Calling, commissioned by the National Ballet of China, premiered in 2015, toured over 30 cities in China, and received its European debut in 2017 and North American debut in 2018.
His music has also been commissioned and performed by ensembles such as Bowling Green Philharmonic, Aeolus String Quartet, Omer String Quartet, Colorado String Quartet, Da Capo Chamber Players, Music from China Ensemble, TALEA Ensemble, Dal Niente Ensemble, The New York Virtuoso Singers, among others. As a pianist, he was a soloist with the Bard Conservatory Orchestra and New Juilliard Ensemble, and performed with Juilliard’s AXIOM. Shen can be heard in the recording of Chinese bamboo flute master Tang Junqiao’s Magical Flute of China, released by Channels Classics Records in 2007.
Shen holds a dual bachelor’s in composition and German studies from Bard College and the Bard Conservatory of Music, a master’s and doctorate in composition from Juilliard (where he taught from 2011 to 2016), and a master’s in orchestral conducting from the University of Maryland.