Bryan Cheng and Silvie Cheng

May 15, 2019, 12:15 pm

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photo by: Herald Hoffmann

The Cheng² Duo — Bryan Cheng, cello, and Silvie Cheng, piano — present works by Tchaikovsky, Poulenc, and Sarasate under the Tiffany glass dome at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Captivating audiences and critics alike, the Cheng² Duo distinguishes itself with its uncompromising musical integrity, undeniable chemistry, and unparalleled communication with its listeners. The brother-and-sister duo is formed by 21-year-old cellist Bryan Cheng, top prize laureate of the VI International Paulo Cello Competition, and pianist Silvie Cheng, recipient of the Roy M. Rubinstein Award for exceptional promise in piano performance.

Named one of CBC Music’s “30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30”, the young and dynamic Cheng² Duo has been making music together for the past 16 years. Their refreshing approach to showcasing classical music to new audiences of all backgrounds is steeped in a rare balance of infectious joy and enthusiasm in their playing on one hand, and mature, historically-informed, and profound interpretations on the other. With wide-ranging repertoire from baroque to contemporary, from original arrangements inspired by folk music to new commissioned works, the duo has presented engaging recitals in notable concert halls throughout North America (Canada and USA), Europe (Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Holland, Italy), and Asia (China and South Korea). Now touring extensively, they have established a reputation for being invited for return engagements at prestigious venues and festivals, including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall (NY), the National Gallery of Canada, the Festival of the Sound (ON), Vermont’s Pro-Concert Series, and Ottawa Chamberfest. The duo has also been featured at numerous other international festivals, including Aspen (Colorado, US), Trasimeno (Italy), Usedomer (Germany) and CAMMAC (Quebec), as well as broadcasts on CBC Radio, ICI Musique, Radio-Canada International, Winnipeg Classic 107, Vermont Public Radio, WCRB Classical Radio Boston, WCNY Classic FM, Kulturradio RBB Germany and Südwestrundfunk (SWR2) Germany.

In the vanguard of creative programming, Bryan and Silvie are equally committed to presenting both traditional masterworks and the music of their time. Since 2013, they have commissioned nearly a dozen new works, as well as curated cross-disciplinary concert experiences that meld classical and contemporary music with jazz, poetry, and visual/media arts. World-class collaborative partners have included photographer and cinematographer Edward Burtynsky, Mercury Films, and multimedia studio Normal.

Recent and upcoming concert highlights include debut recitals at Chamber Music at the Clark (Los Angeles), National Arts Club (NYC), Harvard University, Pro Musica (Joplin), Virtuosi Series (Winnipeg), Cecilia Concerts (Halifax), Bravo Niagara Festival (Ontario), Indian River Festival (PEI), Toronto Summer Music Festival, Germany’s Usedomer Musikfestival and TONALi Kiezfestival, and extensive tours throughout Canada and China. Cheng² Duo has released two critically-acclaimed albums on the German label auditeViolonchelo del fuego (2018) featuring Spanish works, and Violoncelle français (2016), which was selected as one of WCRB’s top CDs of 2017. The duo’s recordings have been lauded by international press and publications in France, Luxembourg, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Canada, and USA for their “musical sensitivity”, “maturity and perfection”, “extremely imaginative and personal interpretation”, “taste, sure flair for phrasing, and beauty of sound”. Their third album, featuring Russian music, will be released in spring 2019. For more information, visit

Biography courtesy of the IMF Chicago website.

  • Pezzo capriccioso, Op. 62, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

  • Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20, by Pablo de Sarasate