Bryan Cheng cellist
© Harald Hoffmann
© Adam Kissick
© Nikolaj Lund
Following recent prize-winning successes at some of the world’s most prestigious international competitions, including Queen Elisabeth, Concours de Genève, and Paulo, Canadian-born, Berlin-based cellist Bryan Cheng has established himself as one of the most compelling young artists on the classical music scene. He made his sold-out Carnegie Hall recital debut at age 14, his Elbphilharmonie debut aged 20 with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (Joshua Weilerstein), and in 2022 was the first cellist to be awarded the coveted Prix Yves Paternot in recognition of the Verbier Festival Academy’s most promising and accomplished musician.
In the 2022-23 season, Bryan makes his ›Debüt im Deutschlandfunk Kultur‹ with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Alpesh Chauhan) at the Berliner Philharmonie playing Saint-Saëns No. 2, returns to the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (Laurence Equilbey) with Beethoven Triple and National Arts Centre Orchestra Ottawa (Yan Pascal Tortelier) with Saint-Saëns No. 1, and appears with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra (Christian Arming) playing Haydn No. 1, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (Daniel Raiskin) playing Korngold and Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations, Orchestre symphonique de Sherbrooke (Jean-Michel Malouf) playing Elgar, Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra (Marc David) playing Saint-Saëns No. 2, and Wiener Stadtorchester.
Previous solo highlights include appearances with the Brussels Philharmonic at BOZAR, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande at Victoria Hall, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Lahti, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Springfield (MO) Symphony Orchestra, Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim, and Schleswig-Holsteinisches Sinfonieorchester, as well as a coast-to-coast Canadian tour with the National Youth Orchestra as winner of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Michael Measures Prize. Bryan has collaborated with such esteemed conductors as Giordano Bellincampi, Jonathan Darlington, Stéphane Denève, Jacques Lacombe, Susanna Mälkki, Peter Oundjian, Matthias Pintscher, and Dalia Stasevska.
As member of the Cheng² Duo, CelloFellos, and as chamber musician, Bryan performs extensively across the globe. He has had the privilege of working with partners such as Angela Hewitt, Christian Tetzlaff, Lars Vogt, and Antje Weithaas. Recital and festival highlights this season include debuts at Munich’s Gasteig, Berliner Philharmonie’s Kammermusiksaal, and Orford Musique, re-invitations to the Großer Saal of the Elbphilharmonie, Brussels’ Flagey, Halifax’s Cecilia Concert Series and Port Hope’s Friends of Music, recital tours throughout South Africa, the Pacific Northwest (California, Idaho, Montana, Washington), and Vancouver Island, as well as appearances at Switzerland’s Verbier Festival, Germany’s Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Poland’s Krzyżowa Festival, and Québec’s OSM Virée classique, in recital with violinist Andrew Wan. Previous international festival appearances include Heidelberger Frühling, „Spannungen“ Heimbach, Dresdner Musikfestspiele, Trasimeno, 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 the “Dubois” Antonio Stradivarius cello, Cremona, 1699 graciously provided to him by Canimex Inc. from Drummondville (Québec). He is a recipient of the Deutschlandstipendium and has been supported by the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation with generous multiyear scholarships.