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Rachel Cheung

Competition Year:



Hong Kong

Pianist Rachel Cheung is hailed as “a poet, but also a dramatist” displaying “the most sophisticated and compelling music-making” (The Dallas Morning News). She won over audiences and critics alike as a finalist at the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition with “stunningly imaginative” (Musical America) interpretations marked by “flights of both beauty and virtuosity” (Theater Jones) and was awarded the Audience Prize by online vote. Also a Young Steinway Artist, she continues to build a reputation for an elegant stage presence, giving sensitive and refined performances across three continents.

Rachel has appeared with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Sydney Symphony, London Chamber, and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras, collaborating with conductors including Edo de Waart, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jaap van Zweden, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Mark Elder, Christopher Warren-Green, and Nicholas McGegan. Rachel is also interested in play/conducting; following her Prix du Jury win at the 2017 Play-Direct Academy for her performance of Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris, she play/conducted the same concerto with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in March 2019. She was also invited to return to the Play-Direct Academy in 2019 as a member of the jury.

She has performed in recital at the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Steinway Hall in London, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts in Toronto, Philharmonie de Paris, and in other cities across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

As an active chamber musician, Rachel has worked with world-renowned musicians including soprano Anna Netrebko and tenor Yusif Eyvazov, mezzo- soprano Virpi Räisänsen violinists Latica Honda-Rosenberg and Ning Feng, violist Vladimir Mendelssohn, cellists Camille Thomas, Jan-Erik Gustafasson and Trey Lee, clarinetists Michel Lethiec and Gilad Harel, the Brentano String Quartet, and Quatuor Leonis. She also enjoys community residencies and outreach events, which allow her to make a deeper connection with audiences and share her passion of storytelling through music.

Recent highlights include concerto performances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Jaap van Zweden, National Philharmonic of Ukraine and Vitaliy Protasov, and on tour with the Asian Youth Orchestra and Joseph Bastian; residencies with RTHK Radio 4 and the Chamber Music Academy Heidelberger Frühling; and recitals throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. Rachel was featured in the Hong Kong Philharmonic’s first live broadcast concert in July 2020, and was invited to contribute performances to StageHub, a new online concert platform connecting artists with audiences worldwide. Rachel is also excited about working with artists from different disciplines, including the Hong Kong Ballet; she has also performed Bach’s Goldberg Variations in a ground-breaking collaboration with Hong Kong lighting designer Amy Chan, presenting the piece to the audience from a different perspective.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Rachel graduated with first class honors at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts under the tutelage of Eleanor Wong, and later studied with Peter Frankl at the Yale School of Music, where she was awarded the Elizabeth Parisot Prize for outstanding pianists. Additional competition honors include prizes at the Leeds, Chopin, Vladimir Horowitz, Gina Bachauer, and Geneva International Piano Competitions.

Rachel was awarded Artist of the Year (Music) by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 2019. In 2022, she became a member of the Art Form Panel (Music) of Cultural Presentations, Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong Government.

Her first concert DVD was released by VAI in 2007. Her first international debut album Reflections, featuring the Chopin Preludes, is released by Universal Music.

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