Stanford Cheung is a pianist and poet from Toronto.
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 in numerous 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. His recitals have been broadcast on OMNI and Fairchild Television. 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.
In addition to performing, Stanford also maintains an active multidisciplinary career as a poet, often drawing on themes related to dystopian melancholia and wabi-sabi worldview. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he has enjoyed working with a broad range of renowned artists and musicians. These include Queen’s keyboardist Morgan Fisher, the Canadian poet Marc di Saverio, and the UK photographer Scott Hunter. His debut collection of poems “Structures from the Still” released 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 Erza Pound himself, take full notice of this fully arrived poet.” Among his collaborative poetry collections include “We Could be Anything” (Crevasse Books, 2019), “Comfort of Malice” (Inspiritus 2018) and “Any Seam or Needlework” (The Operating System, 2016). Stanford’s second full-length collection of poems titled “Demonstrator,” will be released by Andata Express in Fall 2020.
Born in Toronto, Stanford was raised in a family of musicians and began playing the piano at the age of five. Graduating with the highest honors from the Glen Gould School Pre-College Program and the University of Toronto, his mentors include renowned pedagogues Kum Sing Lee and Marietta Orlov. He later furthered his studies with Kyoko Hashimoto in Montreal where he received his Master’s in piano performance from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music. Additionally, 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 Canada Conservatory of London. Among Stanford’s work with celebrated pedagogues Dang Thai Son, Christopher Hinterhuber, John O’Conor and Logan Skelton, have left a meaningful impact on him.
Presently, Stanford Cheung is pursuing his Doctorate’s degree at McGill University with a focus on the Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.