Chen graduated from the orchestral instruments department of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1984. From 1984 to 1997 he worked successively as principal viola associate in the orchestra, then head of the orchestra, assistant to the president, and vice-president of the Shanghai Opera Theatre. He has served as the secretary of the party branch and general manager of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra since 1997. He is also an executive member of both the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Association and Shanghai Performance Association.
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