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The Cheng² Duo's New Album, “Portrait”

Released on Centrediscs, the Cheng² Duo's newest album features world-premiere recordings of commissioned works


The Cheng² Duo, made up of siblings Bryan and Silvie Cheng, have released their newest album, Portrait — which features the world-premiere recordings of commissioned works by Vincent Ho, Alexina Louie, Paul Wiancko, and Dinuk Wijeratne, all of diverse Asian heritage, as well as two original arrangements of Chinese folksongs.

The album is the Cheng² Duo's most personal record yet, paying tribute to multicultural roots and aiming to pave the way for future cellists and pianists to access an even more varied and representative repertoire. 

To purchase and listen to the album, click here.

"As artists who are equally committed to both treasuring the old and championing the new, it was high time that our discography (which currently consists of classical music from France, Spain, and Russia) represented a more personal and holistic view into our musical identity. With this newest release titled Portrait, we not only pay tribute to our heritage as Canadian siblings born to Chinese parents, but we also debut a selection of pieces for cello and piano that we have commissioned or arranged since 2013, all by composers of diverse Asian heritage," the duo shared.

The Cheng² Duo drew inspiration from their heroes, Mstislav Rostropovich and Gregor Piatigorsky, who both collaborated with composers of their time to create repertoire played to this day.

"We feel a sincere sense of responsibility to carry on this legacy of musical evolution for the next generation of players and listeners alike, and we are proud to contribute directly to the cello-piano repertoire at large."


View the behind-the-scenes trailer below


"Although there is a connecting thread between all of the works in that they are written by composers of various Asian backgrounds, we hope that listeners will also appreciate the music as it is, without any labels or even any additional information. Each of these pieces has a profound impact on us at an emotional and human level when we play them, and we firmly believe that any person will be able to experience their beauty by simply opening their ears to these sound worlds."

"In fact, this is how we ourselves discovered each of the composers on our album: we heard works of theirs in concert or on recordings, not knowing anything about them or their personal backgrounds per se, and were blown away, moved to tears, or uplifted by their art. Thus, despite the fact that Portrait highlights Asian voices of today's classical music scene, our biggest wish is that the music on this album underlines the common bonds that connect all people, leading us to discover and celebrate the unique qualities that we all bring to the world, ultimately resulting in a more colorful, understanding, accepting, and creative society," shared the duo.


The Chinese-Canadian brother-and-sister duo is formed by cellist Bryan Cheng, prizewinner of the 2022 Queen Elisabeth Competition and 2021 Concours de Genève, and pianist Silvie Cheng, 2022-23 musician-in-residence of Cecilia Concerts in Halifax. Named one of CBC Music’s “30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30”, the Cheng² Duo tours extensively to present engaging recitals in illustrious concert halls and international festivals throughout North America (Canada and USA), Europe (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, and the UK), Asia (China and South Korea), and South Africa.

Bryan and Silvie are equally committed to presenting both traditional masterworks and the music of their time. 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 have included photographer and cinematographer Edward Burtynsky, Mercury Films, and multimedia studio Normal.

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