RACHEL CHEUNG, piano
Rachel Cheung Wai-Ching started playing the piano at 4 and was admitted to the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) at the age of 10, where she studied with Professor Eleanor Wong. In June 2011, Ms. Cheung received her bachelor of music degree, with first class honours, at the HKAPA.
Ms. Cheung has won numerous first prizes and awards in international piano competitions, including the 28th Alessandro Casagrande International Piano Competition in Italy in 2008 and fifth prize at the 16th Leeds International Piano Competition. Most recently (2010), she was a semifinalist at the 16th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. Other prizes include the first prize and a peer jury prize for the most popular finalist at the 2004 Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition in Salt Lake City and first prize and three special prizes at the International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz in Ukraine in 2003.
Ms. Cheung has been awarded numerous scholarships, including the Robert H.N.Ho Family Foundation Scholarship, the Coutts Bank Scholarship, the Lee Shuk Chee Memorial Scholarship, and a Hong Kong Music Scholarship, and she was sponsored by the Simon K.Y. Lee Foundation. In 2011, she was awarded the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund Scholarship, Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation Scholarship, Bernard van Zuidan Music Fund Scholarship, and School of Music Staff Prize Scholarship. In recognition of her outstanding achievements in the promotion of arts and culture in Hong Kong, Ms. Cheung was awarded the Certificate of Commendation by the Hong Kong government in 2004. In May 2010, she received the Young Artist's award for 2009, presented by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.
Ms. Cheung has performed frequently in Hong Kong and overseas as a soloist. She made her debut at the City Hall of Hong Kong and Uruguay through the sponsorship of the Hong Kong Chopin Society. In 2005, Ms. Cheung performed a solo recital at the 33rd Hong Kong Arts Festival as the youngest soloist ever of the festival. She was invited to perform in the Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Vladimir Horowitz Concert in Kiev, gave concert tours in the United States for two consecutive years, and recitals in the United Kingdom, Paris, Taiwan, Singapore, Shanghai, and Beijing. Ms. Cheung was also invited to take part in many prestigious international music festivals, including the 9th Musical Olympus International Festival in Russia; the International Chopin Festival in Duszniki, Poland; the Miami International Piano Festival; Virtuosos of Planet 2006in Kiev, Ukraine; the 2007 Golandsky Institute International Piano Festival; and the Festival Transeuropéennes' in Rouen, France. In October 2009 she made her debuts at the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and Steinway Hall in London. In May 2013, she made her debut at the Royal Concertgebouw in the Netherlands and in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Ms. Cheung has collaborated with many orchestras, including the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, the Orchestra at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Junior Chamber Orchestra, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder. In October 2009, Ms. Cheung performed with the Sydney Symphony under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy.
In June 2007, Ms. Cheung's first DVD, Rachel Cheung - Keyboard Prodigy Live in Recital, Miami International Piano Festival 2005, was released by VAIMUSIC. Her first CD under the Alpha Omega Sound label of the Chopin Society of Hong Kong was released in 2009.
In January 2011, Ms. Cheung became a young Steinway Artist. She is now pursing the master of music degre at the Yale School of Music under the guidance of Professor Peter Frankl. She was recently awarded the Elizabeth Parisot Prize for outstanding pianist of the 2011-12 school year.