Brandon Cheng, 18, cello

May 8, 2021, 11:00 am

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Brandon Cheng (Photo: Sebastian Orr)

Today on the show we feature cellist Brandon Cheng of Chicago’s Douglass Park neighborhood, a senior at Walter Payton College Prep. After appearing on Introductions several times in orchestras and chamber groups, today’s episode highlights him in a solo recital of Classical, Romantic, and contemporary pieces. Brandon is joined by pianist Elizabeth Vaughan, and thank you to the Music Institute of Chicago for allowing us to record in Nichols Concert Hall.

Brandon Cheng studies cello with Richard Hirschl of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Roosevelt University. Brandon began his musical studies at the age of five at the Merit School of Music. He now serves as Principal Cello in the CYSO Symphony Orchestra and is a scholarship fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy, a training center for advanced pre-college musicians. Brandon loves playing chamber music. Most recently, as a cellist of the Dasani String Quartet, he won the Silver Medal at the 2020 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and was a finalist in the WDAV Chamber Music Competition.

He received an honorable mention at the 25th Annual Merit Conservatory Concerto Competition and at the 2018 Society of American Musicians Competition. He was a finalist in the CYSO’s Concerto Competition. Brandon has also performed in masterclasses featuring distinguished artists such as John Sharp, Richard Aaron, Alban Gerhardt, and Amit Peled. Brandon is a senior at Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, a selective enrollment school located in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood. In his free time, he enjoys playing and watching sports, and spending time with his two dogs.

Brandon was first featured on Introductions as a member of the Nova Piano Trio in Merit School of Music Performathons, in February 2018 and March 2019. He was featured twice in May 2020, as a cellist in The Swan Project and as a member of the award-winning Dasani String Quartet. He has also appeared numerous times with the CYSO Symphony Orchestra.


Gaspar Cassadó: Toccata in the style of Frescobaldi

Ludwig van Beethoven: Variations on Mozart’s “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen”, WoO 46

Philip Lasser: Vocalise

Giovanni Sollima: Lamentatio

Gaspar Cassadó: Requiebros

Brandon Cheng, cello
Elizabeth Vaughan, piano

Some music is excluded from the podcast version for copyright reasons.