Shih-Hui Chen has received awards and commissions from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Koussevitzky Foundation in the Library of Congress, Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Academy in Rome. Her compositions have been performed widely throughout the U.S. and abroad by groups including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Utah Symphony.
Seeking a deeper understanding of her native culture and music, Chen spent two years in Taiwan studying indigenous and nanguan music. In 2013, Chen launched the U.S. tour for Returning Souls, a documentary film and concert music (in collaboration with filmmaker and anthropologist Taili Hu) based on the music and culture of indigenous Taiwanese tribes. Two years later, she curated Common Practice 21C, bringing musicians from Taiwan, China and Southeast Asia to present a three-day festival at Rice University and Asia Society Texas Center.
Chen currently serves on Asia Society Texas Center’s Performing Arts & Culture Committee. She is the department chair of composition and a professor at The Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, where she also chairs the Syzygy New Music concert series. Her music can be heard on Albany, New World and Bridge Records.