May 9th - 14th, 2021

Dr. Archie Chen, piano

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Described by the Irish Times as a pianist who performs with “gorgeously full tone and daring velocity…” and whose playing “suggests a fiery temperament with the necessary elements of technique to support it,” Taiwanese-American pianist Archie Chen has gained international recognition for his poetic imagination, drama and virtuosic technical prowess. International Piano Magazine hails his interpretation of Alkan at the Dublin International Piano Festival as “… a performance that has stayed longer in the memory than anything else.” Others have also described his playing as one that “combines a solo virtuoso’s fluency and excitement with the sophistication and intelligence of an artist who thinks deeply about the music he plays.” while Ralf Gothoni applauds him as “A great talent, both as instrumentalist and musician… a virtuoso… showing a wide spectrum of deep emotions and understanding for the musical structure.”

Dr. Chen’s performances have led him throughout the United States, Asia, the Middle East and Europe in such prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Gewandhaus, Vatican Auditorium, Benaroya Hall, National Concert Hall (Dublin) and concert halls throughout China. Archie’s performances have also been featured on radio and television with broadcasts in the United States and Europe and in movies including BBC Films “Loving Miss Hatto” a movie about “Hattogate” the recording scandal involving British pianist Joyce Hatto which features Dr. Chen’s performances of the famously difficult Godowsky-Chopin Etudes. An active chamber musician, he performs regularly with English cellist, William Butt and trumpeters Alan Vizutti and John Wallace. Chen has performed frequently with the Spokane Symphony, Coeur d’Alene Symphony, Gonzaga Symphony, RTE Concert Orchestra, Washington-Idaho Symphony, and the Northwest Chamber Orchestra. He has recorded for both Sony Classical and Carnegie Artists Records.

A native of Spokane, Archie Chen studied extensively with Mary Toy, giving his first Piano Concerto performance at age 11 with the Spokane Youth Symphony, winning the Northwest Young Artist series at age 13 & Young Artist at Musicfest Northwest at age 16. Taken under the wing of Maestro Gunther Schuller, Chen was a regular guest artist at the Festival at Sandpoint. He obtained his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where he continued his studies with Menahem Pressler and the late Edmund Battersby. Among his many scholarships and awards at Indiana University were the Nina Neal Piano Scholarship and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate, the school’s highest honor. Following his training at Indiana University he earned his Recital Artist Diploma and Doctorate of Music in Piano Performance, with focused research on Chopin at the Royal Irish Academy of Music under the direction of John O’ Conor. Chen was recipient of the Arts Council of Ireland Music Bursary Award, in support of his performances & research. Other influential teachers include Leonard Hokanson and Alicia De Larrocha. Dr. Chen received First Prize at the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition and was awarded Artist of the Year by the New York Classical Music Society in 2013. He also holds a Fellowship from the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, a residency program for artists to practice and excel at their craft.

Dr. Chen previously served as Assistant Professor of Piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and at the Conservatory of Music & Drama at TU Dublin; is Founder & Artistic Director of the Dublin International Piano Festival & Summer Academy and Director of Development at the Piano Academy of Ireland. His students have won top prizes in international piano competitions and have been accepted to major universities and conservatories. Chen regularly gives master classes across the United States, Europe and Asia as well as being an active adjudicator at both national and international levels. Recently returned to Spokane, WA, Chen is an active member of MTNA, CMS, SMTA and EPTA, serving on the board of Musicfest Northwest and maintaining a private studio with his wife Rhona Gouldson.

Important News!

Registration for Musicfest Northwest 2021 HAS BEEN SUSPENDED! New Masterclass Series Announced.

Masterclass Series 2021


Masterclass Series May 10-14, 2021 – Please see schedules for more information

Location Information

All master classes will be held at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox except the piano division which will be held at Steinway of Spokane in the Recital Room.


As we celebrate our 75th Diamond Anniversary in 2021 we are aiming to make it the best festival yet! We are always in need of sponsors, donors and volunteers. If you have any skills or ideas you would like to present to us please feel free to get in touch!

In the meantime, your donation to the Festival helps immensely in keeping future editions of this wonderful even alive and because as a non-profit organization, we rely on the generous support of our members.

Please send checks/cash to our Festival Office.

To Donate Online


Musicfest Northwest
1305 N Napa
Spokane, WA 99202
Tel: +1 509-327-3455

Community Partners

Steinway Piano Gallery of Spokane Logo
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Spokane Public Radio Logo


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Virtuoso Level
Holloway Family Trust
Virtuoso Level
Steinway Piano Gallery of Spokane Logo
Hank & Kay Benson - Ballet Division
Recital Level
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Recital Level

Mike & Barb Canton - Reed Division

Crescendo Level

Please see News for more information on COVID-19 and how we are dealing with this year's Festival.