Chinese prodigy shows mastery in challenging program
By Alan Becker
Posted April 15 2005
13-year-old pianist well-worth the drive to other coast
By Peg Goldberg Longstreth
Special to the Daily News
April 19, 2005
Fourteen-year-old pianist Rachel Cheung has shown herself to be a pianist of remarkable artistry and maturity. A winner of numerous top prizes, she came to international attention in May 2003 when winning First Prize at the International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz, in the Ukraine. In addition to winning the Gold Medal, she was awarded three special prizes from the jurors, including for the “Most Outstanding Concerto Performance”. In June 2004, she won First Prize at the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition in Salt Lake City. At her first competition in Europe, she claimed First Prize at the 2002 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, and she also won First Prize in the 2001 Steinway and Sons International Youth Piano Competition in Hong Kong.
Rachel’s international performances have brought her to the Ukraine at the Vladimir Horowitz 100th Anniversary Celebration Concert in Kiev and as soloist with the National Philharmonic of Ukraine, to Russia at the 9th Musical Olympus International Festival, in recital at the 59th International Chopin Festival in Poland and on tour in Taiwan, and to North and South America in Uruguay and in multiple performances at the Miami International Piano Festival. A frequent performer in Hong Kong, Rachel made her debut at Hong Kong’s City Hall in 2005 and was the youngest soloist ever to perform a solo recital at the 33rd Hong Kong Arts Festival.
Rachel has collaborated with many orchestras including the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in Kiev, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in Russia, Beethoven Orchestra Bonn in Germany, Orchestra at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Junior Chamber Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.
Recent and upcoming recital performances include return appearances at Hong Kong City Hall and in the Miami International Piano Festival. In July 2007, she will play the opening concert of the Golandsky Institute and Festival’s season.
Rachel has been awarded numerous scholarships including The Coutts Bank Scholarship, Lee Shuk Chee Memorial Scholarship and the Hong Kong Music Scholarship, and she is now fully sponsored by the Simon K.Y. Lee Foundation. In 2004, she was awarded the ‘Certificate of Commendation’ by the Hong Kong Government for outstanding achievements in promotion of arts and culture in Hong Kong. Rachel also excels academically and was a winner of the Hong Kong Outstanding Student Award in 2002.
Rachel was born in Hong Kong and studies at Maryknoll Convent School. She started piano lessons at the age of 4 and was later admitted to the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts as a junior student studying under Professor Eleanor Wong.
First Prize and Peer Jury Prize at the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition, US
First Prize and 3 special prizes from the juries including Most Outstanding Concerto Performance
at the International Competition for Young Pianist in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz, Ukraine
First Prize at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, Wales
First Prize at the Steinway and Sons International Youth Piano Competition, HK