Verena - profile

Verena Chen

1st violin


When and where was your first concert with the MCO? 
My first concert with the MCO was in Bodø, Norway in June 2018.

What's the best thing about playing in the MCO?
Every concert with the MCO is unique. All the musicians always put their hear and soul into the music and it's just incredibly fun sharing moments on stage together.

What is your most memorable moment with the orchestra?
The tour with MusicaAeterna and Teodor Currentzis in the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. It was my last concert on trial and an incredible feeling to play in my home town.

Briefly describe what a concert day involves for you
Sleep well, eat well, take a walk ... and a banana before the concert!

What would you do if you weren't a musician?
In addition to music, I like to take pictures. But this is a profession that I could still practice as well.

So if I weren't a musician then I would probably be very interested in medicine. Musicians work like top athletes and in my opinion there are still too few doctors, physiotherapists, etc. qualified to work especially with musicians.


Born 1993 in Hamburg, Verena Chen began the violin at age seven before attending the pre-college division of the Hochschule für Musik Hannover.

In 2012 she moved to Paris to study with Boris Garlitsky at the Conservatoire de Paris (CNSMDP), where she received her masters degree, and is currently finishing her studies at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin with Stephan Picard.

Winner of several international prizes such as the Kloster Schöntal International Competition and the Jascha Heifetz Competition, her career has already earned performances at prestigious festivals including Schleswig Holstein Musikfestival, Festival de Pacques de Deauville, Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival, Braunschweig Classix Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, and CCOM Beijing Festival.

Verena has appeared as a soloist with the Hamburger Symphoniker, the China National Symphony Orchestra, the Bundesjugendorchester, the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester, and the Ensemble Resonanz. She has been a member of the MCO since 2019.

Her playing has been influenced by internationally renowned artists such as Leonidas Kavakos, Pavel Vernikov, Ana Chumachenco, Midori, Donald Weilerstein, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, and Thomas Brandis.

Deeply passionate about chamber music, she is a founding member of the string quartet Quatuor Mona along with Roxana Rastegar, Arianna Smith and Elia Cohen Weissert. The quartet is in residence at pro quartet, Villa Musica, and at the Escuela Reina Sofia under the guidance of Günter Pichler (Alban Berg Quartet).

Verena plays on a violin by Joseph Gagliano, 1790, a loan from the German Music Foundation.