Chamber Music Conversations from the Clark: Cheng² Duo

Sunday, October 18, 2020
1:00 pm PDT – 2:30 pm PDT

Presented online via Zoom webinar

Cheng² Duo

Bryan Cheng, cello
Silvie Cheng, piano

Captivating audiences and critics alike, the Cheng² Duo (pronounced “Cheng Squared Duo”) distinguishes itself with uncompromising musical integrity, undeniable chemistry, and unparalleled communication. The brother-and-sister pair are cellist Bryan Cheng, playing Canada Council for the Arts’ “Bonjour” Stradivarius (c. 1696), 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 siblings have made music together for the past 16 years. Their aim to bring classical music to new audiences of all backgrounds is steeped in a rare balance of infectious enthusiasm for playing, and mature, historically-informed interpretations. The Duo’s repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary, and from original arrangements inspired by folk music to new commissioned works. They have presented recitals in concert halls throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Through extensive tours they have established a reputation for return engagements at many prestigious venues and festivals, including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Chamber Music at the Clark, the National Gallery of Canada, the Festival of the Sound, and Ottawa Chamberfest. The duo has also been featured at numerous other international festivals, including Aspen, Trasimeno, Usedomer, and Canadian Amateur Musicians. The pair have performed for broadcasts on CBC Radio, ICI Musique, Radio-Canada International, Winnipeg Classic 107, Vermont Public Radio, WCRB Classical Music Boston, WCNY Classic FM, Kulturradio RBB Germany, and Südwestrundfunk Germany.

Bryan and Silvie are equally committed to presenting both traditional masterworks and contemporary music. 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 include 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) featuring Spanish works, and Violoncelle français (2016). The latter disc was selected as one of WCRB Classical Radio Boston’s top CDs of 2017. The duo’s recordings have been lauded by the international press for their “phenomenal virtuosity”, “maturity and perfection”, “extremely imaginative and personal interpretation”, “taste, sure flair for phrasing, and tonal beauty.”

Cheng² Duo is represented by Agence Station Bleue:

Image: © Uwe Arens


Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
Sonata for Piano and Cello No. 4 in C Major, op. 102, no. 1

Andante–Allegro vivace
Adagio–Tempo d’andante–Allegro vivace

Maurice Ravel (1875–1937)
Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in A Minor “Posthumous”

Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979)
3 Pieces for Cello and Piano

Sans vitesse et a l’aise
Vite et nerveusement rythmé

Francis Poulenc (1889–1963)
Sonata for Cello and Piano

Allegro–Tempo di Marcia

Program notes by Dr. Bruce Whiteman (former Clark librarian).

Chamber Music at the Clark is made possible by the generous support of The Ahmanson Foundation; The Colburn Foundation; Martha Bardach; Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Ph.D. and Barbara Timmer; Dr. Marla C. Berns; Dr. Rogers Brubaker; Patricia Chock; Regina and Bruce Drucker; Beth S. Farb; Susan Harris; Judy and Sam Hellinger; Henry J. Bruman Endowment for Chamber Music; Dr. Sheldon H. Kardener and Monika Olofsson Kardener; Carol Krause; Mari and Edmund D. Edelman Foundation for Music and Public Service; Elaine and Bernie Mendes; Janet and Henry Minami; Bette I. and Jeffrey L. Nagin; Joyce Perry; Jeanne Robson; Jackie and Charles Schwartz; Dr. Patricia Bates Simun and Mr. Richard V. Simun Memorial Fund; Patricia Waldron, M.D., and Richard Waldron; and Roberta and Robert Young.