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Faculty & Staff Profiles

Amy I-Lin Cheng

Lecturer of Piano


Born in Taiwan, pianist Amy I-Lin Cheng has appeared on the concert stage in the United States, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Taiwan, Brazil, Canada, France, and Israel. She has been described by the New York Concert Review as a pianist whose “control of the keyboard is complete, technique easy and relaxed, with a wide range of touch.” Late pianist Claude Frank described her as “a brilliant, sensitive, imaginative and most beguiling pianist.” Cheng’s live performances have been heard on WGBH, KCSC, WHYY, La Radio Suisse Romande-Espace 2, and NPR. She has presented recitals at venues such as the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, and National Concert Hall in Taipei, as well as on concert series across the United States. Cheng made her Boston concerto debut at the age of 17 at Jordan Hall under the direction of Benjamin Zhander. Since then, she has appeared as a concerto soloist with the ‘Musica Viva’ Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Taichung Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Pines in Texas, University Symphony Orchestra (University of Michigan), and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, among others. In 2015, she gave the North American premiere of the Kaprálová Piano Concerto at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor as part of the week-long Kaprálová Festival, hosted by the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance. In Summer 2017, she gave the U.S. premiere of Improvisation on Misirlou, a single-movement piano concerto by Israeli-American composer Daniel Rein, with the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra during the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. In 2019, she gave the world premiere of the Double Concerto for YangQin and Piano by Taiwanese composer Chun-Da Huang, collaborating with the National Chinese Orchestra Taiwan (NCO), at the University of Michigan. Her recording of the Kaprálová piano concert was released in Summer 2021 on the Naxos label, with outstanding reviews.

A dedicated chamber musician, Cheng enjoys collaborating with others from a very young age. She is the co-Artistic Director of the Brightmusic Society of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, a non-profit organization commissioning and presenting chamber music concerts since 2003. Formed in 1999, Duo Clarion (with clarinetist Chad Burrow) has performed in venues such as Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall and National Concerto Hall in Taipei, as well as venues across the U.S. and Asia. Duo Clarion has released recordings through CDBaby, Albany, and WeiStudio. Duo Clarion’s most recent release of music by Brahms and Schumann received an outstanding review in the ICA publication. Violinist Sean Yung-Hsiang Wang joined the duo to form Trio Solari in 2006. Trio Solari released its debut CD through Centaur Record in 2016. Trio Solari has commissioned and performed trios by Edward Knight and Joseph Tyldesley. Cheng has toured as a guest pianist with the American Chamber Players, America’s Dream Chamber Artists, and performs frequently on the Detroit Chamber Wind and Strings concert series and Michigan Chamber Players Series at the University of Michigan. She has been part of many commissioning initiatives and has recorded chamber music works by composers such as Edward Knight, Laura Schwendinger, Stephen Rush, and Adolphus Hailstork on Centaur, Albany, and the Block M Record.

A highly sought after collaborator, Cheng has performed with artists such as Wenzel Fuchs, Sophie Shao, David Buck, David Halen, Yoonshin Song, David Shifrin, and Misha Quint, and has been Pianist in Residence for International Double Reed Society Convention in 2010 and 2011, as well as International Woodwind Festival in 2012, 2001, and 2002. Other festival chamber music appearances include the Maui Classical Music Festival, Interharmony International Music Festival in Germany, Sewanee Summer Music Festival since 2014, Brightmusic Spring Chamber Music Festival since 2012, Quartz Mountain Music Festival, Taos School of Music, LaJolla SummerFest, OKMozart International Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and Jerusalem Chamber Music Encounter.

Cheng enjoys a career of teaching and has given piano and chamber music masterclasses across the U.S., in Brazil, Taiwan, and Germany for both college and pre-college students. Her university students have been awarded top prizes in MTNA competitions (Chamber Music), solo and concerto competitions, scholarships to graduate programs and summer festival programs, and many of her former students hold college appointments in the U.S. and abroad. Committed to the piano education of the younger generation, Cheng devotes her time to instructing young pianists. She has worked with young pianists and young chamber music groups in summer festivals, at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts Massachusetts, and at the Community Music School of Ann Arbor. Currently, she maintains a studio of private students in Ann Arbor, ages 7-17.

A graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music (BM), Yale University School of Music (MM and Artist Diploma), and the New England Conservatory (DMA), Cheng holds degrees in piano performance. Her principal teachers were Claude Frank, Wha-Kyung Byun, Rolf-Peter Wille, and Yi-Hsien Chang. She studied chamber music with Robert McDonald, Peter Frankl, Michael Friedmann, and Boris Berman. Prior to moving to Ann Arbor, Cheng was the head of the piano area at Oklahoma City University Wanda L. Bass School (06-09), and the assistant professor of piano at the Oklahoma State University (02-06). After serving as a collaborative pianist for the School of Music, Theatre & Dance at the University of Michigan briefly, Cheng joined the Department of Piano faculty in 2012 as a lecturer in piano where she teaches studio piano and coaches chamber music. She is currently the coordinator of piano chamber music and director of the U-M Piano Chamber Music series at the Bloomfield Public Library in Bloomfield and Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor. In the summer, Cheng teaches at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. She lives in Ann Arbor with her husband Chad Burrow, two children, and a family dog.


Education

BM (piano performance), The Curtis Institute of Music
MM (piano performance), Yale University School of Music
Artist Diploma, Yale University School of Music
DMA (piano performance), New England Conservatory

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