Steinway artist Dr Cheng Wai, Vivian is a renowned Hong Kong pianist who has been critically acclaimed as “Beethoven’s Fifth Generation Successor” and a “Piano Poetess”. Dr Cheng obtained a bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, a master’s degree and artist diploma from Yale University, and ultimately a doctoral degree from New York State University at Stony Brook. She was chosen as one of the Hong Kong’s Ten Outstanding Young Persons in 2009, and later became the founding chairlady of the Central Conservatory of Music (HK) Foundation. She was awarded The Greater Bay Area Outstanding Women Entrepreneur Awards 2020.
Dr Cheng is currently an assistant professor at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, as well as being ajudicator for numerous international music competitions.
From 2017 to 2018, Dr Cheng was invited by the China Poly Group to tour around the concert halls of 15 Chinese provinces with “Dessiner la Musique, Cheng Wai Piano Recital China Tour”. She is the first Hong Kong pianist to be invited to tour by the China Poly Group and received great success. The recitals held in Cheungsha and Chengdu were sponsored by the state governments with the title of the 20th Anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Celebration. In the performances, Dr Cheng innovatively collaborated classical piano performances with the display of paintings, which provided audiences with both audio and visual stimulations.
In July 2017 she participated in the music gala honoring the 20th Anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, mentoring international movie star Donnie Yen in performing the Yellow River Piano Concerto with Lang Lang to welcome PRC Chairman Xi Jinping on his Hong Kong visit. In 2018, invited by Dr Yip Wai Hong, she performed three piano concertos, including Dr Yip’s own composition Temptation, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Children’s Symphony Orchestra conducted by Prof Johnny Poon for two nights at the Hong Kong City Hall Music Festival. In June 2019, Dr Cheng was invited by the Hong Kong LCSD and Beijing Poly Theatre Management Co Ltd and performed in the Greater Bay Area.
For Beethoven’s 250th birthday, Dr Cheng was invited by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University to collaborate with Conductor and Violinist Mr Leung Kin-fung, recorded the complete set of Beethoven sonatas for Violin and Piano. By bringing together the elements of stage effects, innovative and academic ideas, and high-quality music, this series has become the focus of the classical music field. In the same year, Dr Cheng took part in the production of completed 32 Beethoven piano sonatas organised by HKAPA and RTHK.
In 2022 Hong Kong Arts Festival, Dr Cheng, together with renowned Chinese pianists, Sa Chen and Yu Xiangjun to present the program of “Reminiscence – Chinese Opera at the Keyboard”.
Dr Cheng’s music has been heard all over the world: it has echoed from the halls of the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Beijing Concert Hall, National Centre for the Performing Arts，Shanghai Oriental Art Center， Shanghai Grand Theatre, Harbin Grand Theatre (where she was the first Hong Kong pianist to perform), and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. She has collaborated as a soloist with the Moscow Orchestra, Danish Odense Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and Hong Kong Children’s Symphony Orchestra, and with the following conductors: Gustave Meier, Lawrence Smith, Samuel Wong, Yip Wing-sie, Zheng Xiao Ying, Mak Ka-lok, Hu Yong Yan, Yan Hui Chang, and Johnny Poon, to name a few. Among international musicians who have performed with her are Augustin Dumay; outstanding Chinese violinists Lu Si-qing, Li Chuan-yun, Yao Jue,Jing Wang , and Mira Wang; cellists Wang Jian, Chu Yi-bing, and Florent Héau; and vocalists Wai Song (tenor), Ying Huang and Ke Luwa (soprano), and Zhang Qiu Lin and Gordon Feng (alto).
As the chairwoman of the Central Conservatory of Music (HK) Foundation, Dr Cheng successfully implemented 10 year plan initiatives, Bravo series, Sixwire and other East meets West cultural projects. She founded the Metropolitan Trio, a perfect union of Eastern and Western music, and also created the JW Piano Duo, a classical sister-pianist duo, with Chen Jie.
Dr Cheng often volunteers to hold lectures and master classes in Hong Kong and mainland China, and is now a familiar face among the judges of the ABRSM exams and the Hong Kong Music Festival Competition after years of service. Since 2015, she has been invited to the USA, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and other countries to serve as either a judge, featured guest, or mentor for their music festivals. She was the only Chinese judge for the Carmel Klavier International Piano Festival in 2018.