Photo Credit by Christopher Lee

          Born in Shanghai, China, Zexun Shen (Jason) studied at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music with Professor Da-Hai Liu and graduated with honors in 2009. In the same year, he began his studies with Timothy Eddy at the Mannes College of Music (BM 2013, MM 2015), where he was presented with a full scholarship and the Goldsmith Foundation Award. Mr. Shen has served as the principal cellist of the Mannes Orchestra from 2011 to 2015.  After Mr. Shen graduated from Mannes with honors, he completed his professional study with Dean’s Award under the guidance of Philippe Muller at Manhattan School of Music.  Mr. Shen joined the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra where he plays as a tenured musician in the cello section in 2016. In the same year, he started his studies with Colin Carr for the Doctor of Musical Art degree as well as teaching assistant-ship position at Stony Brook University.

          Mr. Shen has performed extensively in the U.S. and abroad (including China, Australia, and Poland) as a soloist and chamber musician, playing at venues such as the Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Steinway Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Metropolitan Museum, Morgan Library Museum, and has taken part in music festivals such as the Sarasota Music Festival, Heifetz International Music Institute (String Quartet Seminar), and the Taos Chamber Music Festival, working with the members of the Borromeo String Quartet, Brentano String Quartet, the Moscow Rachmaninoff Piano Trio, the Guarneri String Quartet, and the Orion String Quartet, amongst others. He has also performed and worked with world-renowned musicians such as Shmuel Ashkenazi, Vladimir Feltsman, Herbert Greenberg, Christoph Henkel, Andres Diaz, Paul Katz, Ralph Kirshbaum, Laurence Lesser, Robert McDonald, Joseph Silverstein, Mark Steinberg, and Michael Tree.

          Recently, Mr. Shen has appeared in the Starry Night concert series at Stony Brook with Hagai Shaham and musicians from the Emerson String Quartet and the concert series of The Society for Chamber Music in Rochester.  In the summer of 2019, Mr. Shen is invited to Ravinia's Steans Music Institute in Chicago as a fellow and Gong Geng Academy in China as teaching assistant.

          Mr. Shen plays on a 1723 Italian cello with a 1860 French bow made by Joseph Henry. The instrument is loaned by an anonymous sponsor, and the bow is made available to Mr. Shen as a gift from a sponsor from Taiwan.

Updated on April 8, 2019