Biography

Stanford Cheung is a musician and poet.

Praised by the Toronto Weekly as a pianist of “charming sensitivity and whole-hearted intellect” and by the Itoshima Inquirer for his “lush tone,” Stanford Cheung has established himself as a musician of refined style. His imaginative approach with programming reflects a penchant for innovative repertoire choice that is both unconventional and provocative. A top-prize winner of the 13th San Jose International Piano Competition and Canadian Music Competition, he has since performed as a recitalist and concerto soloist in venues across North America, UK, Canada, and Asia including Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and Weill Hall (New York), The Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto), The Varley Art Gallery (Markham), and the Kusatsu Performance Centre (Tokyo).

Notable engagements include opening Mississauga Symphony’s 44th season performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1, as well as touring with the OCMS Philharmonic for two consecutive seasons. Among his collaborative initiatives include performances with revered artists such as Morgan Fisher, Marc di Saverio and  Scott Hunter. Among his forthcoming projects is an all-Ryuichi Sakamoto CD album to be recorded on Andata Express Label in 2021. For this 2020 season, Stanford presents to audiences “Silent Prayer,” where he will give a series of recitals in forests and towns throughout the city of Fukuoka, Japan.

He holds a Fellowship from the Trinity College of London, U.K as well as distinctions in three licentiate performance designations: LTCL, LRCM, LCCM from the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Canada Conservatory of London. Among Stanford’s work with celebrated pedagogues Dang Thai Son, Enrico Elisi, Christopher Hinterhuber, Kum Sing Lee, John O’Conor and Aaron Shorr, have a left a meaningful impact on him.

As a poet emerging from the Toronto literary scene in 2014, Stanford has since released a commendable body of work which has garnered the interest of readers outside the insular scene. He uses language to examine dystopian thought, often investigating topics that deal with separation, fragmentation and diaspora in society. His debut collection of poems Structures from the Still published by Akinoga Press in 2018, was described by Marc di Saverio as “having a lyrical clarity and sage-like terseness that would make the Imagist poet Erza Pound himself, take full notice of this young and fully arrived poet.” Among his chapbooks published include Any Seam or Needlework (Operating System, 2016), and We Could Be Anything (Crevasse Books, 2019). A Pushcart Prize nominee, Stanford’s poetry appears in anthologies and magazines such as Nomadic Journal, Tokyo Poetry Journal, Prompt Iowa, and the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop.  A collaborative book of poetry with poet Alvin Wong titled Separation Arias, is forthcoming from Akinoga Press in 2021.

Born into a family of musicians, Stanford began learning the piano at age 5 and gave his first recital at 10. He later furthered his studies with Marietta Orlov (a pupil of the legendary Florica Musicescu) at the Glen Gould School Pre-College Program and at the University of Toronto. Currently, Stanford is pursuing his Master degree at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music studying with Kyoko Hashimoto.