Skip to page content

Anthony Cheung

About this Artist

Composer and pianist Anthony Cheung writes music that explores the senses, a wide palette of instrumental play and affect, improvisational traditions, reimagined musical artifacts, and multiple layers of textual meaning. Described as “gritty, inventive and wonderfully assured” (San Francisco Chronicle) and praised for its “instrumental sensuality” (Chicago Tribune), his music reveals an interest in the ambiguity of sound sources and constantly shifting transformations of tuning and timbre. He has been commissioned by leading groups such as the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Cleveland Orchestra (as the 2015-17 Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow), LA Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Scharoun Ensemble Berlin, Dal Niente, AMOC, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. His work “Lyra” was commissioned for the New York Philharmonic at the request of Henri Dutilleux, as part of the orchestra’s inaugural Kravis Prize for New Music. In addition, his music has been performed by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Chicago Symphony Orchestra (MusicNOW series), Minnesota Orchestra, Linea, CourtCircuit, wild Up, Atlas Ensemble, and the Taipei Chinese Orchestra. He has written works for the Escher and Spektral Quartets, violinist Jennifer Koh, flutist Claire Chase, oboist Ernest Rombout, and pianists Gilles Vonsattel, David Kaplan, Shai Wosner, and Joel Fan.

The recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, he has also received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and ASCAP, first prize in the Sixth International Dutilleux Competition (2008), as well as a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome (2012). He has also received commissions from the Koussevitzky and Fromm foundations.

Cheung’s music has been programmed at international festivals such as Acht Brücken (Cologne), Ultraschall (Berlin), Cresc. Biennale (Frankfurt), Présences (Paris), impuls (Graz), Wittener Tage, Ojai, Wien Modern, Time:Spans, Tanglewood, Aspen, Mostly Mozart, Transit (Leuven), Heidelberger Frühling, Helsinki Festival and Musica Nova Helsinki, Musica (Strasbourg), and Nuova Consonanza (Rome). 

His recordings include several portrait discs: All Roads (New Focus, 2022), Music for Film, Sculpture, and Captions (Kairos, 2022), Cycles and Arrows (New Focus, 2018), Dystemporal (Wergo, 2016), and Roundabouts (Ensemble Modern Medien 2014). His music and performances have also appeared on Warner Classics (performed by Bertrand Chamayou), New Focus, Tzadik, and Mode. His music is published by EAM/Schott (PSNY edition), Editions Alphonse Leduc, and in self-published editions (ASCAP). As a performer and advocate for new music, he was a co-founder of the Talea Ensemble, performing as a pianist and serving as artistic director. 

Anthony Cheung received a BA in Music and History from Harvard and a doctorate from Columbia University, where he studied composition with Tristan Murail and Bernard Rands. His primary piano studies were with Robert Levin and Paul Hersh. He was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and previously taught at the University of Chicago. He is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Brown University, where he teaches courses on topics ranging from theory and composition to the jazz orchestra and Asian musical modernisms.