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Composer | Conductor | Violinist

Film Scores

I love telling stories through music, be it that of my own when I write a concert piece or a film cue, or the works of other composers as a conductor. When I compose, I endeavor to immerse the listener in the sound worlds of the emotional journeys my music invites them to embark on.


I find that the best kind of art is created through collaboration, especially across mediums. Having an animus fueled by the pursuit of the art of storytelling, I am passionate about making programmatic music that goes hand in hand with a dramatic narrative or concept, whether it’s opera, ballet, theatre, film, or interactive media.

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Shaun Chen believes that the creative process began by the composer does not come to an end until the music reaches the ears of the listener. He strives to bridge the gaps between the composer, performers, and listeners through highly informed interpretation and mindful decisions driven by a musicological understanding of the composers’ intentions, knowledge of historical performance practice and traditions, a cognizance of the psychological approaches required to facilitate effective communication with the orchestra, and most importantly the ability to read the music beyond the page to suit the circumstances of the performance. In addition to the standard repertoire, Chen enjoys collaborating with the contemporary composers of today in bringing their music to life. 


Chen is the 2020 recipient of the Tibor Pusztai award for outstanding achievement in conducting. He is the 2019/20 Music Director of the Berklee Motion Picture Orchestra, and the Assistant Conductor of the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra. Other orchestras he has worked with include the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra and the Film Scoring Studio Orchestra.

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Concert Music

Drawing from his passion for film, theatre, and immersive experiences, Shaun Chen’s concert works often carry with them an air of drama and a strong emotional pull that projects listeners into idiosyncratic sound worlds. He has most notably received premieres of his string quartet “6 Impossible Things Before Breakfast” by the JACK Quartet (2018), his ballet “The Ladder” at The Boston Conservatory’s Winterworks (2019), and his graphic scores “Dreamscapes I, II, III” by Richard Carrick’s Neither/Nor Ensemble (2020). Other composers he has studied with include Dennis Leclaire, Andrew List, Marti Epstein, David Lang, Maria Schneider, and George Lewis. 


Shaun is the 2019 recipient of the Jim Reyes award for outstanding achievement in vocal composition. 

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