Shaun Chen is a Malaysian composer, conductor, and violinist based in Los Angeles, whose work spans concert and film music, musical theatre, and music/sound design for the stage. His versatility as a musician has allowed him to enjoy success in all aspects of film music production: composing and producing original music, orchestration, score preparation, mixing, and arranging. He is also Co-Director and Lead Editor of Neither/Nor Publishing, a music preparation company founded in 2021 with composer Christian-Frédéric Bloquert.
Shaun is currently composing the scores for a series of animated films adapted from the books of NY Times and USA Today bestselling author S.E. Smith. “The Beast Prince” is set to be completed in 2021, with additional films planned for release in 2023 and 2024. Alongside his work as a lead composer, he has also written additional music on various projects including “FBI: Most Wanted Season 2” (CBS), “The Defeated (Studio Canal), “Cinderella And The Spellbinder” (Gold Valley Films), “Dating A Killer” (Lifetime), and the upcoming Sky Studios murder documentary series “Murder At The Cottage”, directed by six-time Academy Award nominee Jim Sheridan. Shaun has also been involved in the music production process of films and television series including “Love-40” (dir. Fred Wolf). Upcoming work includes an upcoming Dreamworks animated series and a Netflix Original animated comedy series.
He has most notably received acclaim for his new silent film score to Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) for 5 voices and chamber orchestra, premiered live to picture in 2019 by the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra. Other recent world premieres include his string quartet 6 Impossible Things Before Breakfast by the JACK Quartet (2018) and Dreamscapes I, II, III for large ensemble by Richard Carrick’s Neither/Nor Ensemble (2020).
Shaun is vigorously involved as a conductor of both concert and film music, having served as the 2019/20 Music Director of the Berklee Motion Picture Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra (2018 – 2020). Other orchestras he has conducted include the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra.
In 2019, Shaun was the recipient of the Georges Delerue Endowment for Outstanding Achievement in Film Scoring and the Jim Reyes Award for Outstanding Vocal Composition. He later went on to receive the Tibor Pusztai Award for Outstanding Achievement in Conducting in 2020. He has most recently been nominated for Best Original Music and Sound Design (Dance) in the 17th Boh Cameronian Arts Awards 2020 for his original score to Shades of Shadow, premiered as part of Mixed Bill of Contemporary Dance Works featuring Kenny Shim Collective and Mobius Dance.
As a violinist, Shaun is active in both the realms of classical and contemporary music, having appeared with Jacob Collier and John Legend. He has played at the renowned Boston Symphony Hall and has enjoyed performing with Charlie Rosen’s 8-Bit Big Band. Shaun has also recorded for Thomas Newman, Harry Gregson-Williams, Nathan Barr, Nathan Whitehead, and Tom Howe.
Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Shaun began his extensive training in classical music at the age of 5 with the piano. 4 years later, after witnessing an unforgettable performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, he set his sights on the violin and began performing in various orchestras and ensembles. It was during those formative years when his love for the orchestra blossomed, along with the musical exposure and knowledge that would later propel his creative pursuits. After a year at the International College of Music in Kuala Lumpur, Shaun moved to the United States to further his studies in composition, film scoring, and conducting at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where he graduated from in 2020. He spends most of his time at Bandrika Studios and collaborates frequently with composers Nathan Barr, Tom Howe, Nathan Whitehead, Jim Dooley, Chanda Dancy, and George Shaw.