YSO Welcomes  2 Cellists 

The York Symphony Orchestra welcomes two cellists to the Orchestra. Sara Male has been appointed as the Principal Cellist, the David E. Diehl Chair by Barbara & Roy Rollman. Chen Chen has been appointed as a section cellist.

Sara Male received Associate of the Arts in Music degree from Victoria Conservatory of Music in Canada, where she was presented the Principal Emeritus Prize. Ms. Male earned Bachelor of Music with high honors from Rutgers University, and Master of Music from the Mannes College of Music in New York City.

Ms. Male is sought after as a chamber-music recitalist and soloist, having performed in major venues in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia. Ms. Male is the founding cellist of the Lancaster based Newstead Trio from 1993-2018. Ms. Male also founded Duo Chiaroscuro in 2012, in collaboration with award-wining pianist Maria Corley. This ensemble has for over eight years been dedicated to creating musical experiences that both touch and thrill their audiences. Recently, Duo Chiaroscuro decided to make their art available to those on the autism spectrum or with other distinct needs. They created a series entitled Silence Optional which blends visual and musical components.

Sara also collaborates in chamber-music programs with her husband and violist Peter Kenote, a member of the New York Philharmonic. She is acting principal cellist of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and Chair of the Board of Directors. She regularly performs with the Reading Symphony, Kennet Symphony and Harrisburg Symphony. In 2018 Sara was a featured guest artist with the Reading Symphony performing Joel Puckett’s Short Stories for string quartet and orchestra. She also soloed in 2019 & 2020 with Allegro, the Chamber Orchestra of Lancaster.

Sara is Senior-Adjunct-Assistant Professor of Cello at Franklin & Marshall College and also Adjunct Professor of Cello at Elizabethtown College. She also has directed Chamber Music Programs and was involved in the successful accreditation to the National Association of Schools of Music for the Pennsylvania Academy of Music.

Sara is under constant demand as a private teacher working with cellists of all ages from Lancaster County and beyond. Her teaching reflects the pedagogy of her former teachers, Jim Hunter, Bernard Greenhouse, Zara Nelsova and Timothy Eddy. Sara has also participated in programs that allowed her to study with Anner Bylsma, Janos Starker and Channing Robbins. Over the last twenty-five years, her students have won competitions, awards and performed with the most prominent regional orchestras. Sara’s students have gone on to study cello in post-secondary institutions such as Oberlin, Ithaca, Duquesne, Cleveland Institute, Kings College, Mannes College of Music and were selected to play in masterclasses for members of the New York Philharmonic, Ying Quartet, Cassat Quartet and Yo Yo Ma to name a few.

Sara raised her three children in Lancaster and continues to appreciate the many unique and rich qualities of life in this diverse and artistically vibrant community.

Chen Chen (cello) is currently a Doctoral student of Professor Jeffrey Solow. She previously studied with Mark Kosower at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she received Professional Studies Certificate, Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in performance. Past teachers also include Merry Peckham, Richard Weiss, Natalia Pavlutskaya, Alexander Ivashkin, and Jin Zhang.

Chen has participated in many prestigious music programs with fellowships, including the National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute, the International Holland Music Sessions, Banff Music Centre for the Arts, and the Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop. Chen has also performed in master classes with such celebrated artists as Itzhak Perlman, Steven Isserlis, Colin Carr, Raphael Wallfisch, Joel Krosnick, Andres Diaz, Lluis Claret, Maria Kliegel, Peter Wiley, and Alisa Weilerstein, as well as the Tokyo, Takács, Jupiter, Miró, St. John’s, London, Haydn and Chilingirian String Quartets. 

As cellist, chamber musician, Baroque cellist and dancer, Chen has had the privilege of performing in numerous renowned venues: Buckingham Palace, Wigmore Hall, LSO St. Luke’s, Windsor Castle, The Kennedy Center, Severance Hall, Kimmel Center, Alice Tully Hall, and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

Passionate about contemporary music, Chen has worked with some distinguished composers – John Corigliano, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Shulamit Ran, Sean Shepherd, Joan Tower, Jennifer Higdon, and Chen Yi. Beyond her musical activities, she enjoys community engagement, hiking, reading, and writing. She is a frequent contributor to Mandarin Quarterly; her interview with cellist Yo-Yo Ma is published in Mandarin Quarterly’s Chicago Spring 2014 Issue.   

Past recital highlights in 2019 include a concerto performance under Maestro Andreas Delfs, a guest performance with pianist Charles Abramovic, and two recitals with the multi-Grammy award recipient pianist Lambert Orkis. Chen embarked on a tour to Singapore/Malaysia with her string quartet, publishing two music videos.

Chen performed with Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Silk Ensemble at the Youth Music Culture Guangdong in 2020. She spent the summer of 2021 in Hidden Valley Music Seminars, performing with principal players of the MET opera, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra while serving as assistant to the General Manager in an administrative role.

Upcoming 2021- 2022 engagements include performances with the York Symphony Orchestra as their section cellist, and a solo recital with duo partner Maria Dell’Orefice at Rutgers University in Camden.