Headshot for CSO musician Ixi Chen

Ixi Chen

Instrument: Clarinet

Education: University of Southern California, Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe, Manhattan School of Music and University of California Los Angeles

Hometown: Sunnyvale, California

Current neighborhood: Madeira, Ohio

Joined the CSO in 2001

Professional experiences: Professor at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; founder of concert:nova; clarinetist of Classical Tahoe Festival Orchestra; founder Digital Clarinet Academy

Family: Ted Nelson, husband and cellist in the CSO; son Max, age 9 a cellist and singer in Cincinnati Boychoir; stepson Wes, age 13 a violinist and singer in Cincinnati Boychoir; stepson Milo age 15 a clarinetist and pianist!

What do you draw inspiration from as a musician? Definitely who I'm playing with, my collaborators, and partners.

Favorite orchestral work: Holberg Suite by Edvard Grieg

Funniest concert memory: When the principal clarinetist realized in performance he forgot a page of his music back stage. He was very composed as he slid off the platform and walked off stage, then ran to the locker room, ran back to stage, and calmly walked back on, with the music tucked into his tux coat. Placed the music on the stand, and played the solo. Funny now!

Favorite things to do Cincinnati? Try new restaurants and sit outside at my favorite coffee shops to do work.

Favorite meal or food? Ramen

What activities/organizations are you involved in outside of the CSO? I am a faculty member at CCM, run a chamber group called concert:nova with my husband Ted and colleagues in the CSO, and run an educational program for musicians called Music360. I help out where I can with my son's school and extracurricular activities like soccer, scouts and music.

What are your hobbies outside of music? Photography, Travel, Cooking!! Well lifestlye, hiking and biking. I also love design.

Fun fact—something few would know about you: I can always find a good parking spot

Oddest practice quarters: In college I'd practice under a tree on campus

How can the Orchestra make the world a better place? There's nothing better than participating in a live creation of something - whether it's listening from the audience or creating from the stage being part of a shared dream is really powerful.

Personal website: music-threesixty.com