Captivating audiences and critics alike, the “brilliant” (The Sunday 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...
Captivating audiences and critics alike, the “brilliant” (The Sunday 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 cellist Bryan Cheng, prizewinner of the 2022 Queen Elisabeth Competition and 2021 Concours de Genève, and pianist Silvie Cheng, 2022-23 musician-in-residence of Cecilia Concerts in Halifax.
Named one of CBC Music’s “30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30”, the dynamic Cheng² Duo tours extensively to present engaging recitals in illustrious concert halls and international festivals throughout North America (Canada and USA), Europe (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, the UK), Asia (China and South Korea) and South Africa. Past performances and interviews have been broadcast on CBC Radio, ICI Musique, Radio-Canada International, Vermont Public Radio, WCRB Classical Music Boston, WCNY Classic FM, Kulturradio RBB and Südwestrundfunk (SWR2) Germany, ORF Austria, and Classical Radio Orpheus (Moscow).
Recent and upcoming concert highlights include the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Symphony Nova Scotia; recitals at the Frauenkirche Dresden, Flagey (Brussels), Munich Gasteig, Piano Salon Christophori (Berlin), California Center for the Arts, Dame Myra Hess Series (Chicago), Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall (NYC), Chamber Music at the Clark (Los Angeles), Harvard University (MA), Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts (Kingston), Orford Musique, Salle Bourgie (Montréal), Palais Montcalm (Québec), as well as Chamberfest Cheboygan (MI), Ottawa Chamberfest, the Elora (ON), Bravo Niagara! (ON), and Toronto Summer Music Festivals.
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. World-class collaborative partners have included photographer and cinematographer Edward Burtynsky, Mercury Films, and multimedia studio Normal.
Cheng² Duo has released a trilogy of critically-acclaimed albums on the German label audite: Russian Legends (2019), Violonchelo del fuego (2018), and Violoncelle français (2016), which was selected as 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.
About their album Russian Legends
There is drama, even theatre in these interpretations. Russian music is full of twists, contrasts and emotional changes. Cheng² Duo plays with elegance and panache, but also with impressive sound power. We note especially the solid discursive architecture built by the two young artists… Like the performances, the program oscillates between powerfully incarnated lyricism, biting irony, sardonic humour, affective tenderness and airy sweetness.