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Press Releases

Chamber Music Society Of Lincoln Center Announces New Bowers Program Artists

March 26, 2020 | By Kate Merlino
Kate Merlino



Stella Chen, Sihao He, Richard Lin, Timothy Ridout, and James Thompson


Five Musicians Selected for Three-Season Residency to

Perform, Record, and Teach with CMS Artists


New York, New York, March 24, 2020- The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) today announced the five artists selected to be part of The Bowers Program, the most extensive opportunity for classical artists and ensembles in the early stages of major careers to integrate their professional lives with established chamber music artists.  The Bowers Program, which began as CMS Two in 1994, has been a source of professional development for some of the world's leading classical musicians, including Hilary Hahn, Inon Barnatan, Alisa Weilerstein, Anthony McGill, and the Miró, Escher, and Danish String Quartets, among many others. 


The artists chosen for The Bowers Program for the next three seasons - 2021 through 2024 - are:  violinist Stella Chen, cellist Sihao He, violinist Richard Lin, violist Timothy Ridout, and violinist James Thompson. These participants were chosen from an international pool of candidates (180 applicants from 18 countries) through competitive auditions. They will participate in a rigorous three-season residency that fully integrates them into every facet of CMS activities in New York and internationally.  They will perform on the Alice Tully Hall stage as well as in cities across the US and abroad alongside established CMS artists, appear as part of CMS education programs, and in CMS recording projects.


“After weeks of careful consideration following a set of auditions - made all the more challenging by the uniformly high level of applicants - we have finally settled on five new members to join The Bowers Program. These musicians are even now fully ready to take the CMS main stage in leadership positions. They are poised and eager to delight our audiences, to inspire their new colleagues, and of course help to cement the bright and ever-evolving artistic profile of CMS,”  said Wu Han and David Finckel, Co-Artistic Directors of CMS. “As concerts and performances are on hold worldwide during these challenging days, it is inspiring to look to the future and the contribution that these young artists will make to chamber music and all our lives.”

The Bowers Program has proven to be a springboard for many of today's most successful chamber music artists, and it is a key to the future of CMS itself. More than half the current roster at CMS is composed of Bowers alumni as well as current and incoming members of the program, who perform as equal colleagues alongside CMS musicians of all generations. Since its inception in 1994, there have been 91 individual artists and 11 ensembles who have completed the Bowers Program. 


More about The Bowers Program's new artists: 


Stella Chen is an American violinist who won the 2019 Queen Elizabeth International Violin Competition and she is a recipient of a 2020 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award.  A graduate of Harvard, she is continuing her studies at the Kronberg Academy and at the Juilliard School, where she serves as a teaching assistant for Li Lin.  This season and next will mark her debut performances with the Chicago Symphony, the Ravinia Festival, and the Salzburg Mozarteum.


Sihao He, a native of China, is a cellist who, at age 14 in 2008, won first prize at the International Antonio Janigro Cello Competition in Croatia. Later that same year he won the National Cello Competition in China.  He has performed with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, and many others.  His string quartet, Simply Quartet, won first prize at the Haydn Invitational Chamber Music Competition in Shanghai.


Richard Lin, violinist, was born in Arizona and raised in Taiwan. He was the gold medalist at the International Violin Competition in 2013. He graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, and he has released two albums under the Fontec label. His concertizing in the current season will culminate in his Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium debut, with pianist Thomas Hoppe, is scheduled for June 2020.


London-born violist Timothy Ridout was selected as a BBC New Generation Artist in 2019. Ridout studied at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with the Queen's Commendation for Excellence, and he completed his masters at the Kronberg Academy.  He has performed as a soloist with the Orchestre de Lille, Philharmonia Orchestra, and at Wigmore Hall, the Auditorium du Louvre, and the Lucerne Festival.


A native of Cleveland, OH, violinist James Thompson is currently on the faculty of Music@Menlo. He made his solo debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in 2014, and he has performed in the Perlman Music Program and at the Taos School of Music. He was invited to perform as part of the 1st Bartók World Competition as well as for the 7th Sendai International Violin Competition. He is currently an Artist Diploma candidate at the Cleveland Institute of Music under Jaime Laredo.


Full biographies are here:




About The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS), is one of eleven constituents of the largest performing arts complex in the world, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which includes the New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, Lincoln Center Theater, and The Metropolitan Opera. With its home in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, CMS is known for the extraordinary quality of its

performances and its programming, and for setting the benchmark for chamber music worldwide. Through its many performance, education, recording, and broadcast activities, it brings the experience of great chamber music to more people than any other organization of its kind. Under the leadership of Co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han, CMS presents a wide variety of concert series and educational events for listeners of all ages, appealing to both connoisseurs and newcomers. The performing artists constitute a revolving multi-generational and international roster of the world's finest chamber musicians, enabling CMS to present chamber music of every instrumentation, style, and historical period. Annual activities include a full season in New York, as well as on national and international tours. On average over the past five seasons, more than 120 musicians will perform annually with CMS in more than 130 performances and events in NYC, on tour in the US, and internationally. CMS continues its leadership position in the digital arena, reaching hundreds of thousands of listeners around the globe each season with live streaming of over 30 concerts and educational events, more than 750 hours of performance and education videos free to the public on its website, a 52-week public radio series across the US, radio programming in Hong Kong and mainland China, appearances on American Public Media, the new monthly program In Concert with CMS on the ALL ARTS broadcast channel, and performances featured on, Tencent, and SiriusXM's Symphony Hall channel. As CMS celebrates its 50th anniversary season in 2019-2020, education and global access remain integral parts of its mission.  


Media Contact:

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Kate Merlino, Public Relations Manager

Phone: office 212.671.4098, cell 917.710.6973





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