Ray Chen Tchaikovsky-Mendelssohn Violin Concertos Sony Taiwan-born Ray Chen is a rising star in classical music and this CD features two of his favourite concertos. His renditions of Mendelssohn's E minor and Tchaikovsky's D major won him awards in the 2008 Menuhin competition and the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Competition, respectively. Recorded with Daniel Harding and his Swedish Radio Symphony, Chen's readings are notable for their delicate and near-perfect balance of lyricism and virtuosity. From the first entry in the Tchaikovsky concerto, Chen brings a refreshing tone out of the all-too-familiar score. He exudes excitement in the build-up to the climax of the first movement, followed by a solid cadenza. The singing quality in the famous slow movement is riveting. The youthful zest of both the soloist and the conductor is most evident in the finale. The same can be said of the Mendelssohn concerto. Here, Chen's lyrical reading holds sway. His natural phrasing is often matched by the superb woodwind of the Swedish orchestra. It is a smiling collaboration and the upbeat sentiment can be felt throughout. It is amazing to hear this level of maturity from a 23-year-old.