Biography

Socially relevant yet deeply personal, Stanford Cheung connects with audiences through his work as a concert pianist and published poet across creative intersections beyond the traditional scene.  

Praised by the Toronto Weekly as an artist of “charming sensitivity and whole-hearted intellect,” and by the Itoshima Inquirer for his “lushly refined tone,” Stanford Cheung maintains an active performing career as a recitalist and soloist across North America, the UK, Canada and Asia. A top prize winner at the San Jose International Piano Competition, the Steinway Piano Competition, and Canadian Music Competition, he has performed at international venues including Carnegie Hall’s Zankel and Weill Hall in New York City, The Royal Ontario Museum and Living Arts Centre in Toronto, and The Kusatsu Performance Center in Tokyo. Among his notable engagements include opening the 44th season with the Mississauga Symphony as well as touring with the OCMS Philharmonic for two consecutive seasons. He holds a Fellowship in piano performance from the Trinity College of London, UK, as well as degrees from the University of Toronto where he completed his Bachelors with Marietta Orlov, and his Masters at McGill University with Kyoko Hashimoto. Among Stanford’s close work with celebrated pedagogues Dang Thai Son, Christopher Hinterhuber, André Laplante, John O’Conor, and Logan Skelton, have also left a meaningful impact on him.

A Pushcart Prize nominated writer, Stanford maintains an equally versatile career as a poet often drawing on themes related to dystopian melancholia and wabi-sabi worldview. He is the author of the full-length collections Demonstrator (Andata Express, 2020) and Structures from the Still (Akinoga, 2018). Has enjoyed working with a broad range of renowned artists and musicians such as the band Queen’s keyboardist Morgan Fisher, the Canadian poets Marc di Saverio and JC Bouchard, the American change agent Lynne de Silva Johnson, and the UK photographer Scott Hunter. Such work resulted in various cross disciplinary poetry collections such as We Could Be Anything (Crevasse Books, Tokyo 2019), Comfort of Malice (Inspiritus, Toronto 2018), and Any Seam or Needlework (The Operating System, 2016). Stanford’s poetry also has been exhibited as short films and art installations at the Center for Contemporary Arts Kitakyushu in Tokyo, The Lunenburg Academy for Performing Arts in Nova Scotia and Studio Kura Gallery in Fukuoka. Presently, Stanford’s poetry appears in anthologies and magazines such as the Tokyo Poetry JournalNomadic JournalOtolithsPrompt IowaRicepaper and elsewhere.

Born in Toronto, Stanford was raised in a family of musicians. A many-faceted individual, Stanford has painted, drawn, danced and played several other instruments. He has experimented with sound art, is an avid tea enthusiast and continues to develop a great passion for film. Presently, Stanford is a Doctoral student at McGill University with a focus on the Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.