Captivating audiences and critics alike, the “brilliant” (The Times, UK) and “truly exhilarating” (The WholeNote, Canada) Cheng2 Duo (pronounced Cheng Squared Duo) distinguishes itself with its uncompromising musical integrity, undeniable chemistry, and unparalleled communication with its listeners. The...
Captivating audiences and critics alike, the “brilliant” (The Times, UK) and “truly exhilarating” (The WholeNote, Canada) Cheng2 Duo (pronounced Cheng Squared Duo) distinguishes itself with its uncompromising musical integrity, undeniable chemistry, and unparalleled communication with its listeners. The Chinese-Canadian brother-and-sister duo is formed by 22-year-old cellist Bryan Cheng, first cellist to win Grand Prize at the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Competition (2019) and playing the Canada Council for the Arts’ prized ca. 1696 ‘Bonjour’ Stradivari; and pianist Silvie Cheng, recipient of the Roy M. Rubinstein Award for exceptional promise in piano performance.
Named one of CBC Music’s “30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30”, the dynamic Cheng2 Duo has been making music together for the past 17 years. With wide-ranging repertoire from baroque to contemporary, from original arrangements inspired by folk music to new commissioned works, the duo has presented engaging recitals in world-class concert halls throughout North America (Canada and USA), Europe (Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Germany, Holland, Italy, UK), and Asia (China and South Korea). Now touring extensively, they have established a reputation for being invited for return engagements at renowned venues and festivals, including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall (NY), Chamber Music at the Clark (Los Angeles), the National Gallery of Canada, and Ottawa Chamberfest. The duo has also been featured at numerous other international festivals, including Aspen (Colorado), Trasimeno (Italy), Usedom (Germany) and Festival of the Sound (Ontario), as well as broadcasts on CBC Radio, ICI Musique, Radio-Canada International, Vermont Public Radio, WCRB Classical Music Boston, WCNY Classic FM, Kulturradio RBB and SWR2 Germany, ORF Radio Austria, and Classical Radio Orpheus (Moscow).
In the vanguard of creative programming, Bryan and Silvie are equally committed to presenting both traditional masterworks and the music of their time. Since 2013, they have commissioned nearly a dozen new works, as well as curated cross-disciplinary concert experiences that meld classical and contemporary music with jazz, poetry, and visual/media arts — leading collaborative partners have included photographer and cinematographer Edward Burtynsky, Mercury Films, and multimedia studio Normal.
Recent and upcoming concert highlights include the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Symphony Nova Scotia; an international tour of their Beethoven project, Ludwig & Beyond, to Paris, Frankfurt, London, Michigan, and throughout Canada; debut recitals at the California Center for the Arts, Dame Myra Hess Series (Chicago), National Arts Club (NYC), Harvard University (MA), Vancouver Chamber Music Society, Salle Bourgie (Montréal), Cecilia Concerts (Halifax), as well as the Indian River (PEI), Elora (ON), Bravo Niagara! (ON), and Toronto Summer Music Festivals; and tours across China and Canada. Cheng2 Duo has released a trilogy of critically-acclaimed albums on the German label audite: Russian Legends (2019, BBC Radio Scotland Album of the Week), Violonchelo del fuego (2018), and Violoncelle français (2016, one of WCRB Classical Radio Boston’s top CDs of 2017). The duo’s recordings have been lauded by the press in a dozen countries worldwide for their “phenomenal virtuosity”, “maturity and perfection”, “extremely imaginative and personal interpretation”, “taste, sure flair for phrasing, and tonal beauty”.
The New York recital debut of Bryan and Silvie Cheng was infused with a spirit of thoughtfulness and generosity. The obvious affection between the two siblings extends beyond the familial sphere into the audience, and most importantly, into the music itself.
The Cheng² Duo digs deep under the virtuoso fireworks to find the inner life of each work in their varied repertoire. While they certainly display impeccable technique, there’s much more to good music than that and this pair of artists have a great gift for coaxing the music off the page and into vivid life
Silvie Cheng’s hands glide from key to key, she weaves a sound carpet full of filigree patterns and spreads it out under the playing of her brother. Bryan Cheng storms up the scales sure-footedly, then prances triumphantly on the summit…he makes a dazzling appearance…one suspects that these two will be big successes.
Highly eloquent performances that show the talent of the Canadian Cheng² Duo. Extremely imaginative and personal interpretation.
We are impressed! By the maturity and perfection of the cello-piano duo Cheng², the musical sensitivity of the two musicians…we hear a carefully-weighed chamber music teamwork, which nevertheless does not shy away from extremes in terms of dynamics and expression. All these pieces are presented with so much taste, sure flair for phrasing, and beauty of sound.