Shen Yuan

Shen Yuan

Shen Yuan is a PhD holder, Associate Professor of the Central Conservatory of Music, supervisor on postgraduate programmes, and an internationally distinguished organist. She has served as an adjudicator in many contests and is the Chinese translator of Organ Dictionary. She released the first organ solo album recorded at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC. She has been recognized as the most internationally influential organist in China.

Shen won fourth place in the Canadian International Organ Competition, dubbed “Olympics for the Organ”, an affiliated first-class international contest of the World Federation of International Music Competitions with the largest cash prize in the organ world. Her competitive journey was featured in the documentary Pipe Dreams, which entered the Canadian International Documentary Festival.

Her music training began at the age of 4, when she learned piano and electronic organ under the tutelage of her father, Professor Shen Xiaoming, who is the founder of electronic organ professional education in China. At 10, she entered the Middle School affiliated to the Shenyang Conservatory of Music. At 16, she was admitted to the Bachelor’s programme at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and at 20, was admitted to the Conservatory’s Master degree programme with exemption from the entrance examination. At 22, she graduated cum laude and joined the faculty of her alma mater. She was appointed Associate Professor when she was 29.

Shen holds two doctoral degrees: a PhD in Organ from the Seitoku University, where she was under the tutelage of Professor Naomi Matsui, President of the Japan Association of Organists, and a PhD in Organ Performance from the Berlin University of the Arts (Konzertexam), where she benefited from the coaching of Professor Leo van Doeselaar (Grammy Award winner) and Professor Erwin Wiersinga.

As a performer, Shen is active on stage around the world. She was the proponent and organizer of the annual Beijing International Organ and Electronic Organ Festival, which was inaugurated in 2013. This academic forum has won acclaim for its academic depth as well as widespread popularity.