A native of Tapei, Che-Yen Chen began learning the piano at the age 4, before switching to viola and studying with teacher Ben Lin for eight years. At 14, he moved to the U.S. to study at the Curtis Institute of Music, in Philadelphia, where he earned his bachelor's degree. He next attended the Juilliard School in New York, where he received an Artist Diploma in String Quartet Study and a Master of Music degree.
In 2004, Chen joined the San Diego Symphony, where he's now principal violist. In addition, he teaches at UCSD, San Diego State University, and is a founding member of the Formosa Quartet.