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 was a faculty member at Mannes School of Music (Extension), Hoff-Barthelson Music School, and Riverdale Country School. Ms. Bestmann was also the conductor of the Philharmonia orchestra at Third Street Music School Settlement and assistant conductor/faculty at Children's Orchestra Society. Her commitment to education inspired the creation of 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 performances of Peter and the Wolf and Carnival of the Animals 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 served as principal violist of the New England Symphonic Ensemble which was frequently directed by acclaimed composer and conductor John Rutter. As a chamber music enthusiast, Ms. Bestmann is a member of the Solace Piano Quartet and performed with members of the New Jersey Symphony in numerous concerts.
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 School of Music. Her primary teachers include violists Karen Ritscher and Thomas Reibl, violinist Albert Markov, chamber music coaches Felix Galamir, Daniel Phillips and Todd Phillips and conductor Michael Charry.
Ms. Bestmann recently relocated to St. Paul, MN from New York with her husband and two daughters. She is currently a faculty member at MacPhail Center for Music and freelances with ensembles in the Twin Cities area including the Minnesota Orchestra.