Mei-Ann Chen (born 1973) is a Taiwanese American conductor currently serving as music director of the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. She has been described as "one of the most dynamic young conductors in America". Encouraged by her parents, Chen began playing violin and piano at a young age and later taught herself how to play the trumpet. By observing her conductor, she began to teach herself how to conduct and even collected batons. Chen attended the Walnut Hill School, a preparatory school affiliated with the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts, starting at age sixteen. She continued her undergraduate and advanced degree work at the Conservatory and became the first student to graduate from the institution with a double master's degree in conducting and violin performance. Chen later obtained a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan.Chen became the Portland Youth Philharmonic's fourth conductor in 2002. During her five-year tenure, the orchestra debuted at Carnegie Hall, earned an ASCAP award in 2004 for innovative programming, and began collaborating with the Oregon Symphony and Chamber Music Northwest. She also served as assistant conductor of the Oregon Symphony from 2003 to 2005 and as cover conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 2005, Chen became the first woman to win the Malko Competition, which recognizes young conductors. That same year she won the Taki Concordia Fellowship. Chen left the Philharmonic in 2007, to become assistant conductor of the Atlanta Symphony. Chen served as assistant conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for its 2009–2010 season. She was appointed music director of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra; her three-year tenure began in September 2010 and was renewed for an additional three years in 2012. Chen also began serving as music director for the Chicago Sinfonietta during its 2010–2011 season. Throughout her career, Chen has appeared with the following symphonies throughout the United States and Canada: Alabama, Chautauqua, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Edmonton, Eugene, Florida, Fort Worth, Grand Teton Festival Orchestra, Honolulu, Kalamazoo, National (Washington, D.C.), Pacific, Phoenix, Princeton, Rochester, Seattle, Toledo, and Toronto. Appearances outside North America include all the principal Danish orchestras, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Graz Symphony, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Taiwan National Symphony, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. Chen has also participated in the National Conducting Institute (Washington, D.C.) as well as the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen, Colorado. During the 2011–2012 season, Chen will debut with the Jacksonville, Naples, Nashville, Pasadena, and Sarasota symphony orchestras, as well as the National Symphony of Mexico and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.