A versatile musician and educator, Taiwanese pianist Chiao-Wen Cheng has performed as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician in major venues throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Cheng has become a sought-after collaborative partner through her sensitive playing, vibrant sound colors, and detailed voicing. Cheng has performed with violinist Juliana Athayde, Yoojin Jang, Renée Jolles, and Robin Scott, cellist Steve Doane, Guy Johnston, and Astrid Schween, and members of many major orchestras. She has also performed at the Aspen Music Festival, the Atlantic Music Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, the International Bass Convention, International Trombone Festival, International Viola Congress, society for Chamber Music in Rochester, Seattle Symphony Chamber Music Series, Seattle Trombone Workshop, and the Southeast Trombone Symposium. Since 2019, Cheng has been an Artist-Faculty Piano Collaborator at the Perlman Music Program. In 2022, she was hired as the Collaborative Pianist for the U.S. premier of Tan Dun’s trombone concerto.
Cheng’s solo engagements include concerto performances with the Fort Worth Symphony, Greece Symphony, and Taiwan Shin-Min Orchestra, as well as solo recitals in major venues. Cheng has won numerous piano competitions and awards, including the Clara Ascherfeld Award in Excellence in Accompanying at Peabody Institute (2009); the Excellence in Accompanying Award at the Eastman School of Music (2010); and first prizes in the the Piano Texas International Academy and Festival Concerto Competition (2010) and the Schubert Club Competition (2012).
Cheng began piano lessons with her aunt at the age of four. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as a student of Frank Weinstock, where she received a Van Cliburn Scholarship. She completed her master’s degree at Peabody Institute, Johns Hopkins University as a student of Benjamin Pasternack, where she received a full scholarship. Cheng holds a doctoral degree from the Eastman School of Music, where she was a student and teaching assistant of Barry Snyder. At Eastman, Cheng was also the recipient of a graduate assistantship as a collaborative pianist and large ensemble pianist. Cheng is currently an Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano at the Eastman School of Music. She joined the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as a Principal Keyboard in 2022.