Angela Cheng

Angela Cheng (Chinese: 鄭美蓮; born September 9, 1959)[1] is a Hong Kong-born Canadian classical pianist. She has performed internationally as a recitalist and as a guest soloist with orchestras. Cheng is a professor of piano at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Angela Cheng
Born (1959-09-09) September 9, 1959 (age 61)
Hong Kong
Occupation(s)Musician, educator

Early life and educationEdit

Cheng was born in Hong Kong in 1959 and immigrated to Edmonton, Alberta, as a child.[1][2] She studied piano at Alberta College with Vera Shean and at the University of Alberta with Ernesto Lejano.[1][3] In 1979, Anne Burrows, a local patron of the arts, established a foundation to fundraise for Cheng's further training.[4][5]

With the foundation's support, Cheng studied at the Juilliard School in New York with Sascha Gorodnitzki, earning a bachelor's degree in music (1982).[1][5] She went on to earn a master's degree in music from Indiana University (1984), where she studied with Menahem Pressler.[1]


In 1985, Cheng made her recital debut at Alice Tully Hall in New York City.[1] In 1986, she won third prize at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Masters Competition.[6] In 1988, she won first prize at the Montreal International Music Competition (becoming the first Canadian to win the competition).[1][7] She was awarded a Medal of Excellence at the Mozarteum in Salzburg in 1991.[3]

Cheng went on to have an international performance career. She has performed as a guest soloist with every major orchestra in Canada (including Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra[8] and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra).[9] She has also performed with the Women's Philharmonic (San Francisco),[10] Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra,[1] and Boston Symphony Orchestra.[1]

In 1994, she joined Piano Six (also composed of pianists Janina Fialkowska, Marc-André Hamelin, Angela Hewitt, André Laplante, and Jon Kimura Parker), which aimed to bring classical music to small communities across Canada.[3] In 2012, she made her Carnegie Hall debut, performing with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.[11] That year, she also performed with Pinchas Zukerman at the Salzburg Festival.[11]

Cheng first started teaching piano at the University of Colorado.[1] She joined the faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1999.[5] In 2010, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta, in her hometown of Edmonton.

Personal lifeEdit

Cheng is married to pianist and fellow Oberlin professor Alvin Chow, with whom she frequently performs.[3][12] They have two daughters.[8][13]

Selected discographyEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Whelan, Janna; Vachon, Jean-Pascal; Orford, Emily-Jane (2015-03-04). "Angela Cheng". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2020-08-14.
  2. ^ Bernstein, Tamara (2001-03-15). "Bring her back soon - and give her a new piano". National Post. p. 29. Retrieved 2020-08-14.
  3. ^ a b c d Hisey, Andrew (2005). "Global odyssey: Behind the artistry of Angela Cheng". American Music Teacher. 54 (4): 32–35 – via JSTOR.
  4. ^ Marck, Paul (2007-02-12). "Life & times". Edmonton Journal. p. 12. Retrieved 2020-08-16.
  5. ^ a b c Rankin, Bill (2004-12-27). "They couldn't have done it without her". Edmonton Journal. p. 29. Retrieved 2020-08-16.
  6. ^ "The Fifth Competition, April 1986". The Arthur Rubinstein International Music Society. Archived from the original on 21 December 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  7. ^ a b Rowat, Robert. "The 25 best Canadian classical pianists". CBC.
  8. ^ a b Paulson, Joanne (2007-11-14). "In perfect harmony". Star-Phoenix. p. 23. Retrieved 2020-08-16.
  9. ^ "Discoveries at Early Music Vancouver and the VSO". The Vancouver Sun. 2012-11-05. p. 31. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  10. ^ Ulrich, Allan (1992-05-11). "The Women's Philharmonic again proves its importance". The San Francisco Examiner. p. 21. Retrieved 2020-08-16.
  11. ^ a b Sylvestre, Jason (2016-04-14). "Cheng driven to continue working on her craft". Regina Leader Post. Retrieved 2020-08-14.
  12. ^ Marymont, Mark (2001-04-20). "Teaching enriches pianist's work". The Springfield News-Leader. p. 67. Retrieved 2020-08-16.
  13. ^ Bloom, Elizabeth (2015-04-08). "Pianist Angela Cheng plays recital at Kresge Theatre". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2020-08-16.