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Rachel Cheung

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Rachel Cheung
Cheung in 2009
Background information
Birth nameCheung Wai-Ching
Born (1991-09-27) September 27, 1991 (age 29)
Hong Kong
Years active2004–present
LabelsThe Alpha Omega Sound, VAI Music
Rachel Cheung
Traditional Chinese張緯晴
Simplified Chinese张纬晴

Rachel Wai-Ching Cheung (Chinese: 張緯晴; Jyutping: Zoeng1 Wai5 Ceng4; born September 27, 1991) is a classical pianist from Kowloon, Hong Kong.[1] She has won numerous prizes and awards in Hong Kong and overseas, and performs regularly in Asia, Europe, and North America.[2][3]

Early life and education

Cheung comes from a musical family. Her father, a piano teacher, gave her first piano lessons at age four.[4] At age ten, she was admitted to The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) as a junior student studying under Professor Eleanor Wong, Artist-in-Residence and Senior Lecturer in Keyboard.[2] She also attended secondary school at the Maryknoll Convent School.[4] For college, she continued studies at HKAPA with Professor Wong and obtained her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance with First Class Honours in June 2011 on a full scholarship from the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation.[5]

In September 2011, Cheung began studies overseas with Professor Peter Frankl at the Yale School of Music in the USA on full scholarships from Yale and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund Scholarship.[6] She was awarded the Elizabeth Parisot Prize with Larry Weng for outstanding pianists at the Yale School of Music during school year 2011–2012.[7] On May 20, 2013 Cheung was conferred the Master of Music degree in piano at Yale School of Music's 120th Commencement.[8][9]


Junior competitions

In 2001 Cheung won First Prize in the Hong Kong regional competition of the Steinway and Sons International Youth Piano Competition. At her first competition in Europe, she claimed First Prize at the 2002 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod for Western Instrumental Group under 15 in Wales. In May 2003, Cheung won First Prize in the Junior Group (under age 15) at the “5th Biennial International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz” in the Ukraine. Besides winning the Gold Medal, she was awarded three special prizes from the jury: Most Outstanding Concerto Performance, Best Performance of Romantic Period Pieces, and Youngest Participant of the Competition. Also in 2003, Cheung was awarded First Prize in the Piano Solo division and First Prize in the Piano Concerto under Age 18 division at the 55th Hong Kong School Music Festival.[10] In June 2004, she won First Prize and a Peer Jury Prize for the most popular finalist at the 2004 Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Senior competitions

In 2008, Cheung won second prize at the Alessandro Casagrande International Piano Competition in Terni, Italy.[2] In September 2009 she won fifth prize at the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition, the best result a Hong Kong pianist has achieved in this prestigious competition. She was also a semi-finalist at the XVI International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in October 2010. In November 2012, Cheung was awarded the George Leibenson Special Prize at the 67th Geneva International Music Competition in Piano.[11]

In 2017, Cheung was a finalist and won the Audience Award in the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas.[12] The Dallas Morning News called her “a poet, but also a dramatist,” displaying “the most sophisticated and compelling music-making.”[13]



On April 14, 2005, 13-year-old Cheung performed an extraordinary program to thunderous applause, cheers, and whistles at the 2005 Miami International Piano Festival at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She performed Bach's Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor, Haydn's Piano Sonata in E-flat major, Liszt's "Étude in F minor, La leggierezza," "Au bord d'une source (S.156, No. 2b)," and "Étude No. 5 in E major, La chasse,' Chopin's "Variations brilliantes in B-flat major," Faure's "Nocturne No. 1 in E-flat minor," "Barcarolle No. 4 in A-flat major," and "Impromptu No. 2 in F minor," and Prokofiev's "Suggestion diabolique, Op. 4, No. 4" and "Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 28." When it was over, the audience presented Cheung with seven bouquets and a stuffed lamb.[14]


On December 14, 2006 Cheung played a solo recital at Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall at The Joy of Music Festival organized by the Chopin Society of Hong Kong. Her programme included Mozart's Fantasy No. 2 in C minor, K. 396/385f and Piano Sonata No. 18 in D major, K. 576; Liszt's Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude and Two Concert Studies; Schubert's Three Piano Pieces, D. 946; Chopin's Four Mazurkas, Op. 24 and Ballade in F minor, Op. 52, No. 4 and Poulenc's Trois pièces, FP 48.[15]


On July 15, 2007, 15-year-old Cheung opened the 2007 Golandsky Institute International Piano Festival by performing works by Chopin, Copland, Mozart, and Schumann at Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall at Princeton University, New Jersey.[16][17][18]


On February 25, 2012 Cheung performed Johannes Brahms’s Six Pieces, Op. 118 as part of The Kennedy Center's Conservatory Project featuring Yale School of Music students on The Millennium Stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.[19][20] On December 3, 2012 she performed W.A. Mozart: Sonata No. 15 in F major, K. 533/494 in a piano master class with Robert D. Levin at Parker Recital Hall in Leigh Hall, Yale University.[21]


On September 26, 2013 Cheung performed a duo recital "A Musical Dialogue" with bassoonist Chan Ting Yuen in the Citibank Plaza lobby, Central, Hong Kong.[22][23]


On January 24, 2014 Cheung played a piano duet recital with Dr. Helen Cha at the Y.C. Cheng Lecture Theatre of the Hong Kong Baptist University in Kowloon.[24]


On October 4, 2015 Cheung made her debut at the Stars of Steinway Recital Series at Dunkley Music in Meridian, Idaho. Her season-opening concert was sponsored by Dunkley Music and Pianoconcert Idaho. She played Oiseaux tristes, Une barque sur l'ocean, and Alborada del gracioso from Ravel's Miroirs, Brahms' Four Piano Pieces, Op. 119, and Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 6 in A major, Op. 82. Receiving multiple standing ovations and applause, she played two encores: Chopin's Prelude Op. 28, No. 6 and Liszt's La Campanella.[25][26]


title works label recording date recording location release date catalog number length format
1. Rachel Cheung: Keyboard Prodigy Live in Recital[27] Bach, Haydn, Liszt, Chopin, Fauré, Prokofiev, Copland, Field Video Artists International (VAI) April 14, 2005 Amaturo Theater, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 2005 Miami International Piano Festival, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA (live) May 29, 2007 VAI DVD 4427 76:00 DVD
2. Rachel Cheung, Piano: Works by Mozart, Liszt, Schubert, Chopin and Poulenc[28] Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Poulenc The Alpha Omega Sound (The Chopin Society of Hong Kong Limited) 2007 Hong Kong (studio), mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London 2009 AOS-07-1003-1-1000-RACHEL CHEUNG 75:17 CD


  1. ^ "Persons Related to Chopin - Wai-Ching Rachel Cheung". The Fryderyk Chopin Institute. Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "A little maestro amazes SZ music lovers". News Guandong. 2004. Retrieved 2007-04-24.
  3. ^ Chang Tou Liang (2006). "Rachel Cheung Piano Recital 14/12/06 - The Love of Music Festival". Concert Review. The Flying Inkpot. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
  4. ^ a b Olluver, Sam (July 8, 2012). "Keys to my success". South China Morning Post (International Edition). South China Morning Post Publishers Limited. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  5. ^ "People > Alumni > Graduates > School of Music > 2011". The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  6. ^ "No place like the Academy - Music graduate Rachel Cheung Wai-ching" (PDF). The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts News (7 2012). July 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Congratulations to the 2012 Prize Winners". Yale School of Music. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  8. ^ "One Hundred Twentieth Commencement". The School of Music Yale University. 120: 4. May 20, 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  9. ^ "School of Music 2013–2014" (PDF). Bulletin of Yale University. Series 109 (8): 139. July 25, 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Music Achievements 2002–2003". Maryknoll Convent School (Primary Section). Maryknoll Convent School. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Archives - 2012 - piano". Geneva International Music Competition. Geneva International Music Competition. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  12. ^ "2017 Competition Prizes – The Cliburn". www.cliburn.org. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  13. ^ "Two very different piano recitals Sunday afternoon at the Cliburn". Dallas News. 2017-06-04. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  14. ^ Goldberg Longstreth, Peg. "Review: 13-year-old pianist well-worth the drive to other coast". Miami International Piano Festival. Miami International Piano Festival. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  15. ^ Kwong, Kevin (December 14, 2006). "The Joy of Music". South China Morning Post (International Edition). South China Morning Post Publishers Limited. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  16. ^ "2007 International Piano Festival". The Golandsky Institute. The Golandsky Institute. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  17. ^ "In the Region - New Jersey Calendar of Events". The New York Times. July 8, 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  18. ^ Finane, Ben. "Realizing Bach's ultimate power". NJ.com. New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  19. ^ "YSM students participate in the Kennedy Center's Conservatory Project 2012". Yale School of Music. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  20. ^ "Yale School of Music 2/25/12 video". The Kennedy Center. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  21. ^ "Concerts & master classes with clarinetist Charles Neidich, pianist Robert Levin". Yale School of Music. Yale. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  22. ^ "Community Events - 26 September 2013 - A Musical Dialogue by Rachel Cheung & Chan Ting Yuen". Citibank Plaza. Champion REIT. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  23. ^ Kang, Sunny. "Rachel Cheung, Piano Recital, Yale School of Music Class of 2013". Yale Club of Hong Kong. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  24. ^ "Dr. Helen Cha and Rachel Cheung - Piano Duet Recital". Facebook. Facebook. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  25. ^ "Stars of Steinway recital series opens". Idaho Statesman. Idaho Statesman. October 2, 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  26. ^ "EVENTS - Stars of Steinway". 7 KTVB.COM. KTVB. October 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  27. ^ "Rachel Cheung: Keyboard Prodigy". Video Artists International and VAI Audio. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  28. ^ "The Alpha Omega Sound". The Chopin Society of Hong Kong Limited. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
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