This is an encore broadcast from May 15, 2019.
Captivating audiences and critics alike, the “brilliant” (The Times, UK) and “truly exhilarating” (The WholeNote, Canada) Cheng² Duo (pronounced Cheng Squared Duo) distinguishes itself with its uncompromising musical integrity, undeniable chemistry, and unparalleled communication with its listeners. The Chinese-Canadian brother-and-sister duo is formed by 22-year-old cellist Bryan Cheng, recent laureate of the prestigious Paulo International Cello Competition in Finland, and playing the Canada Council for the Arts’ prized ca. 1696 ‘Bonjour’ Stradivari; 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 dynamic Cheng² Duo has been making music together for the past 17 years. 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 world-class concert halls throughout North America (Canada and USA), Europe (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, the UK), and Asia (China and South Korea). Now touring extensively, they have established a reputation for being invited for return engagements at renowned venues and festivals, including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall (NY), Chamber Music at the Clark (Los Angeles), the National Gallery of Canada, and Ottawa Chamberfest. The duo has also been featured at numerous other international festivals, including Aspen (Colorado), Trasimeno (Italy), Usedom (Germany) and Festival of the Sound (Ontario), as well as broadcasts on CBC Radio, ICI Musique, Radio-Canada International, Vermont Public Radio, WCRB Classical Music Boston, WCNY Classic FM, Kulturradio RBB and Südwestrundfunk (SWR2) Germany, ORF Radio Austria, and Classical Radio Orpheus Moscow.
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 the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Symphony Nova Scotia; a summer 2020 tour of their Beethoven project, Ludwig and Beyond, to Paris, London, Frankfurt, Michigan, and throughout Canada; debut recitals at the California Center for the Arts, Dame Myra Hess Series (Chicago), National Arts Club (NYC), Harvard University (MA), Vancouver Chamber Music Society, Salle Bourgie (Montréal), Cecilia Concerts (Halifax), as well as the Indian River (PEI), Elora (ON), Bravo Niagara! (ON), and Toronto Summer Music Festivals; and tours across China and Canada. Cheng² Duo has released a trilogy of critically-acclaimed albums on the German label audite: Russian Legends (2019, one of BBC Radio Scotland’s Albums of the Week), Violonchelo del fuego (2018), and Violoncelle français (2016), which was selected as one of WCRB Classical Radio Boston’s top CDs of 2017. The duo’s recordings have been lauded by the press in France, the Benelux countries, Austria, Germany, Russia, the UK, Taiwan, Mexico, Canada, and USA for their “phenomenal virtuosity”, “maturity and perfection”, “extremely imaginative and personal interpretation”, “taste, sure flair for phrasing, and tonal beauty”.
Biography courtesy of the artists’ website.