Amy I. ChengLecturer 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 describes 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. During 2015-16 season, she gave the North American premiere of the Kapralova Piano Concerto at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor as part of the week-long Kapralova Festival, hosted by the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
A dedicated chamber musician, Cheng enjoys collaborating with others since a very young age. Currently, she is the co-artistic director of the Brightmusic Society of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, a non-profit organization presenting chamber music concerts since 2003. In addition to regular season concerts, Brightmusic launched its first Spring Chamber Music Festival in 2012, and in June 2017, Brightmusic will present its 6th Chamber Music Festival with the music of Bach and Brahms. 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 recording 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. Cheng has performed as a guest pianist with the American Chamber Players and America’s Dream Chamber Artists and performs frequently on the Michigan Chamber Players Series (U-M). As a chamber musician, Cheng 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 Shifrin, and Misha Quint, and has been the 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 Interharmony International Music Festival in Germany, Quartz Mountain Music Festival, Taos School of Music, LaJolla SummerFest, OKMozart International Music Festival, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and Jerusalem Chamber Music Encounter.
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 (Taos), Peter Frankl, Michael Friedmann and Boris Berman. Committed to music 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. In addition, she maintains a studio of private students, age 6-15. 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, Cheng joined the Department of Piano faculty in 2012 as a lecturer in Piano, where she teaches piano and chamber music. In the summer, Cheng teaches at Sewanee Summer Music Festival. She lives in Ann Arbor with husband Chad Burrow, two children, and two family dogs.