Photo Credit: Becky Oehlers
Violist and conductor Chi-Chi Lin Bestmann enjoys a diverse career, from performing Mozart in Carnegie Hall to jamming with rapper Jay Z at Radio City Music Hall to conducting The Annual Westchester All-County Orchestra Festival. Her ability to straddle both roles of musician and conductor across different genres, has led her to venues including Saturday Night Live, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Merkin Hall, performing with such artists including Kurt Masur, Beyoncé, and Enya.
In addition to presenting recitals and collaborative concerts in the US, Europe and Asia, Ms. Bestmann is a devoted teacher. She is the former Assistant Conductor and faculty member of the Children’s Orchestra Society of Manhasset, NY, Hoff-Barthelson Summer Arts Festival and former Music Director of the Tainan Teachers' College Orchestra in Taiwan. Currently, Ms. Bestmann teaches at Hoff-Barthelson Music School, Riverdale Country School, and conducts the Philharmonia orchestra at Third Street Music School Settlement. Her commitment to education inspired Petite Concerts Inc., a nonprofit organization that offers live-music experiences to young children and cultivates classical music audiences of the future.
While still a student, Ms. Bestmann was the youngest participant with the New York Philharmonic’s Conductor Table hosted by Kurt Masur. Her most recent appearances include guest conducting the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra and leading her fellow faculty members in a performance of Peter and the Wolf at the Hoff-Barthelson Children’s Concert Series.
As winner of the 1998 Mannes Concerto Competition, Ms. Bestmann made her solo debut performing with the Mannes Orchestra under the baton of John Mauceri. As a violist, she was invited to participate in the International Musician’s Seminar in Prussia Cove, England and the Mozarteum International Sommerakademie in Salzburg, Austria. She currently serves as principal violist of the New England Symphonic Ensemble which is frequently directed by acclaimed composer and conductor John Rutter.
Ms. Bestmann began studying the violin at age three in Taiwan. As a prizewinner in the 1984 Taiwanese National Violin Competition, she was awarded the opportunity to study violin at Manhattan School of Music while attending high school in Great Neck, Long Island. Ms. Bestmann holds a Bachelor of Music in Orchestral Conducting, a Master of Music and a Professional Studies Diploma in Viola Performance, all from Mannes College The New School for Music. Her primary teachers include violists Karen Ritscher and Thomas Reibl, violinist Albert Markov, chamber music coach Felix Galamir, and conductor Michael Charry.
Ms. Bestmann lives with her husband and two young daughters in Bronx, New York.