presented in collaboration with Four Larks
Gloria Cheng has the rare distinction of being a classical pianist recognized with both a Grammy Award and an Emmy Award. Cheng has long been devoted to creating collaborations that explore meaningful interconnections amongst composers.
GLORIA CHENG has the rare distinction of being a classical pianist recognized with both a Grammy Award and an Emmy Award. Cheng has long been devoted to creating collaborations that explore meaningful interconnections amongst composers. She has been a recitalist at the Ojai Festival, Chicago Humanities Festival, William Kapell Festival, and Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, and has commissioned, premiered, and been the dedicatee of countless works by an international roster of composers. Cheng gave the premiere performances of Salonen’s Dichotomie, composed for and dedicated to her, John Adams’ Hallelujah Junction for two pianos, and the late Steven Stucky’s Piano Sonata. In duo-piano recitals with the composers, she premiered Thomas Adès’s 2-piano Concert Paraphrase on Powder Her Face and Terry Riley’s Cheng Tiger Growl Roar. Cheng won a Grammy Award for her 2008 disc, Piano Music of Salonen, Stucky, and Lutosławski, and a nomination for her next recording, The Edge of Light: Messiaen/Saariaho. Her film, MONTAGE: Great Film Composers and the Piano (2016), documenting the recording of the eponymous CD (harmonia mundi usa) of works composed for her by Bruce Broughton, Don Davis, Alexandre Desplat, Michael Giacchino, Randy Newman, and John Williams, aired on PBS SoCal and was awarded the 2018 Los Angeles Area Emmy for Independent Programming. Cheng has been a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta and Pierre Boulez, and on its Green Umbrella series under Esa-Pekka Salonen and Oliver Knussen. She received her B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and earned graduate degrees in performance under Aube Tzerko and John Perry. She now teaches at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music where she has initiated courses and programs that unite performers, composers, and scholars. She served as 2012 Regents Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley.