Stanford Cheung is a pianist and poet.



Praised by the Toronto Weekly as a pianist of “charming sensitivity and whole-hearted intellect,” Stanford Cheung has established himself as a musician of refined style. His imaginative approach to 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, Canada, and Asia including Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and Weill Hall (New York), The Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto), and the Kusatsu Performance Centre (Tokyo).

Notable engagements include opening the 44th season with the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra with Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 as well as performing the Yellow River Concerto and Joe Hisaishi’s Melodyphony with the OCMS Philharmonic. Stanford’s upcoming performances this 2019 season include a series of recitals throughout Toronto, Montreal, and Fukuoka.

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 and John O’Conor and have a left a meaningful impact on him.

Born into a family of musicians, Stanford began learning the piano at age 5 and gave his first recital at 12. He later furthered his studies with Marietta Orlov (a pupil of the legendary Florica Musicescu) at the Phil and Eli Taylor Academy for Young Artists and at the University of Toronto. Currently, Stanford is pursuing his Master’s at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music studying with Kyoko Hashimoto.


As a poet, Stanford’s work uses language to examine dystopian thought, often investigating topics that deal with separation and diaspora in society.

His debut book of poems Structures from the Still (Akinoga Press, 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.” Among his chapbooks published include Any Seam or Needlework (Operating System, 2016) and We Could be Anything (Crevasse Books, 2019). A Pushcart Prize nominee, his poems appear in anthologies and magazines such as Nomadic Journal, Tokyo Poetry Journal, and the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop. A collaborative book of poetry with poet Alvin Wong titled Separation Arias, is forthcoming from by Akinoga Press in 2021.

If you want to learn more about Stanford as a poet and his upcoming projects, go to his ‘poetry’ page.

If you want to see the pianist side, go to ‘recordings’