Bryan Cheng cellist
© Harald Hoffmann
© Adam Kissick
© Nikolaj Lund
Winner of 2nd Prize and Audience Prize at the prestigious Geneva International Music Competition (2021), Canadian Bryan Cheng (b. 1997) is acclaimed as “a fine artist, distinguished, of great class” (Le Devoir) and for the “dreamy beauty” (Süddeutsche Zeitung) of his music-making. He made his sold-out Carnegie Hall recital debut at age 14, his Elbphilharmonie debut in 2018 with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and in 2022-23, he will give his ›Debüt im Deutschlandfunk Kultur‹ with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin at the Berliner Philharmonie.
Solo highlights of recent and upcoming seasons include his debut at the Musical Olympus Festival with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Festival de Lanaudière with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, engagements with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande at Victoria Hall, National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Panamá, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Stadtorchester, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim, and the Springfield (MO), Winnipeg, Kingston, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Okanagan, Niagara, Lahti, and Schleswig-Holstein symphonies; a coast-to-coast Canadian tour with the National Youth Orchestra as 2017 Canada Council for the Arts Michael Measures Prize winner; and a solo residency with the Orchestra of the Americas. Bryan has collaborated with such esteemed conductors as Jonathan Darlington, Jacques Lacombe, Susanna Mälkki, Peter Oundjian, Matthias Pintscher, Dalia Stasevska, and Joshua Weilerstein.
As cellist of the Cheng² Duo and chamber musician, Bryan performs extensively across the globe. He has had the privilege of working with partners such as Christian Tetzlaff, Lars Vogt, and Antje Weithaas. 2021-22 season highlights include recitals in Dresden (Frauenkirche), Hamburg, Brussels (Flagey), Paris, London, Berlin, Geneva, Lyon, San Diego, New York, Toronto, Edmonton, and South Africa, as well as appearances at Québec’s Orford Musique, Germany’s Heidelberger Frühling Festival, Russia’s Trans-Siberian Art Festival, and Italy’s Trasimeno Festival, in recital with pianist Angela Hewitt. Previous international festival appearances include „Spannungen“ Heimbach, Dresdner Musikfestspiele, Usedom, Aspen, Ottawa Chamberfest, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Festival of the Sound, and Indian River.
Over the years, Bryan has accumulated a concert repertoire spanning five centuries, and is equally committed to both traditional masterworks and the music of his time. He has commissioned and given eleven world premieres, including two pieces by Canadian composer Alexina Louie at his second Carnegie Hall recital, the North American premiere of a cello concerto by British-Russian composer Gabriel Prokofiev (grandson of Sergei) at Koerner Hall with the Esprit Orchestra, and a multimedia project featuring five new Canadian works by composers from all regions of the country at the National Gallery of Canada.
Bryan has released a trilogy of critically-acclaimed albums on German classical label audite: Russian Legends (2019, selected by BBC Radio Scotland as Album of the Week), Violonchelo del fuego (2018), and Violoncelle français (2016, selected as one of WCRB Classical Radio Boston’s top 8 CDs of 2017). His recordings have further been lauded by The Times (UK), Süddeutsche Zeitung, ORF Radio (Austria), pizzicato magazine (Luxembourg), and WholeNote Magazine (Canada), for their “musical sensitivity”, “maturity and perfection”, “extremely imaginative and personal interpretation”, “taste, sure flair for phrasing, and beauty of sound”.
Formerly studying with the late cellist and conductor Yuli Turovsky and Hans Jørgen Jensen of Northwestern University, Bryan is currently pursuing his Master's degree at the Universität der Künste Berlin in the studio of Jens Peter Maintz. Over the years, he has also been mentored by David Geringas, Frans Helmerson, Menahem Pressler, Laurence Lesser, Richard Aaron, David Finckel, and Jian Wang.
Bryan plays on the ca. 1696 Bonjour Stradivari cello and the ca. 1830 Shaw Adam bow, generously on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank as First Laureate of their 2018 Competition. He has been supported by the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation with generous multiyear scholarships.