Heralded as an “outstanding young talent” with performances that are “vibrant and expressively nuanced”, Dr. Chelsea Cowan has dedicated her career to providing engaging and thought-provoking performances for all audiences. Her love for connecting with others through music has taken her all over the world from Europe to Asia and to world-renowned venues such as Royal Festival Hall, Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, and others. As a soloist, she recently was a prize-winner of the Southeast Michigan Flute Association’s Ervin Monroe Young Artist Competition. As an orchestral flutist, she has performed with the Lansing Symphony (MI), Jackson Symphony (MI), Pro Arte Orchestra (UK), and Orchestra Vitae (UK) among others, and she has collaborated with prominent artists such as Trevor Pinnock, Simon Rattle, and John Corigliano.
Chelsea received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University studying with Richard Sherman. After discovering a strong affinity for Indian culture and music at the early stages of her career, she began Hindustani flute lessons in New York City and in Udaipur, India. As a result, her dissertation compared the musical transmission techniques of both Hindustani classical music and Western classical music. She is currently working on a flute method book that aims to create a fusion between these two vastly different cultures and bridge gaps in learning for collegiate flute students.
She received her Master of Music degree with Merit from the Royal Academy of Music in London, UK. While in London, Chelsea engaged in educational outreach through the RAM Open Academy program and had the great opportunity of working with children through distinguished charities and outreach organizations such as Spitalfields Music, Ignite (Wigmore Hall), and English Touring Opera. Her MMus project, which received the mark of Distinction, took her to several countries to study flute and its role in folk music from around the world. She also took part in a charity which brought music instruction to children in the Zanskar region of the Himalayas. All of these experiences have shaped her into a versatile performer and teacher.
A native of Lansing, Michigan, Chelsea began playing flute at the age of 10. Her first concerto performance was at the age of 16 and afterwards she began studying at Michigan State University where she received her Bachelor of Music with High Honor. Her teachers include Richard Sherman, Kate Hill, and Patricia Morris. She has also worked with esteemed flutists William Bennett, Gareth Davies, Emily Beynon, Walfrid Kujala, Sharon Sparrow, Jeanne Baxtresser, and Lorna McGhee. She currently resides in Texas with her husband and fellow musician, Ben Buergel.
After serving on faculty at Auburn University, Chelsea joined the international education community and serves as an education-abroad programs coordinator at the University of Texas at Austin. She now dedicates her career and expertise to finding more opportunities for music students to study abroad and participate in community engagement.