Dazzling, award-winning pianist Rachel Cheung at Kahilu Theatre

  • Rachel Cheung has won over audiences and critics alike as a finalist at the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

  • Rachel Cheung will take the stage 2 p.m. Feb. 9 for a masterful perform at the Kahilu Theatre.

WAIMEA — Classical pianist and 2017 Cliburn Audience Award winner Rachel Cheung will take the stage 2 p.m. Feb. 9 for a masterful perform at the Kahilu Theatre.

Cheung is hailed as “a poet, but also a dramatist” displaying “the most sophisticated and compelling music-making,” the Dallas Morning News wrote about the Young Steinway Artist, who continues to build a reputation for a sparkling stage presence and elegant performances across three continents.

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She won over audiences and critics alike as a finalist at the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition with “stunningly imaginative” interpretations, as noted by Musical America, the oldest magazine dedicated to classical music.

Those interpretations were marked by “flights of both beauty and virtuosity” publication Theater Jones, described it.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Cheung graduated with first class honors at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts under the tutelage of Eleanor Wong, and later studied with Peter Frankl at the Yale School of Music, where she was awarded the Elizabeth Parisot Prize for outstanding pianists.

She has appeared with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Sydney Symphony, London Chamber, and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras, and collaborated with conductors including Edo de Waart, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jaap van Zweden, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Mark Elder, Christopher Warren-Green, and Nicholas McGegan.

She conducted and played Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris at the 2017 Play-Direct Academy led by Stephen Kovacevich, where she was awarded the Prix du Jury at the closing concert.

Enthusiastic about that experience, Cheung played/conducted the same concerto with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in March 2019 and was invited to return to the Play-Direct Academy as a member of the jury in September of that year.

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For her Kahilu performance, Cheung will play selections by Jean-Philippe Rameau, Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Ravel, César Franck and Harold Bauer, and Frédéric Chopin.

Tickets are $50/$25 and can be purchased at kahilutheatre.org, 885-6868 or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office, 67-1186 Lindsey Road in Waimea. Students 8-18 have free admission when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult.

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