Music Now is an informal forum series for Brown’s community of composers and music scholars. This week’s guest is composer and Professor of Music Anthony Cheung who joined the Department of Music this year. Music Now talks are free and open to the public.
About Anthony Cheung
Composer and pianist Anthony Cheung has a body of work that ranges from solo to orchestral works. His music reveals an interest in the ambiguity of sound sources and the subtle transformation and manipulation of timbre allied with harmony. Representations of space and place are common themes, achieved through innovations in spatialization and orchestration, as well as actual source material via field recordings. Musical artifacts, both imaginary and allusive, become sites of fragmentation or excavation. The music also frequently engages poetic imagery, syntax and rhetoric, natural phenomena, and is heavily influenced by improvisatory traditions.
He has been commissioned by leading groups such as the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Cleveland Orchestra (as the Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow), Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Scharoun Ensemble Berlin, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). His work “Lyra” was commissioned for the New York Philharmonic at the request of Henri Dutilleux, as part of the orchestra’s inaugural Kravis Prize for New Music. In addition, his music has been performed by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Chicago Symphony Orchestra (on its MusicNOW series), Minnesota Orchestra, Ensemble Linea, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, wild Up, eighth blackbird, and Dal Niente. His music has been programmed at festivals such as Ultraschall, Cresc. Biennale, Présences, impuls, Wittener Tage, Tanglewood, Aspen, Mostly Mozart, Transit, Heidelberger Frühling, Helsinki Festival and Musica Nova Helsinki, Centre Acanthes, Musica, and Nuova Consonanza.
His recordings include three portrait discs: Cycles and Arrows, with the Spektral Quartet, ICE, and Atlas Ensemble (New Focus, 2018), Dystemporal, with the Talea Ensemble and Ensemble Intercontemporain (Wergo, 2016), and Roundabouts, with the Ensemble Modern and Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (Ensemble Modern Medien 2014). As a performer and advocate for new music, he was a co-founder of the Talea Ensemble, performing as a pianist and serving as artistic director.
The recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, Cheung has also won awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and ASCAP, and first prize in the Sixth International Dutilleux Competition (2008), as well as a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome (2012). He received a BA in Music and History from Harvard and a doctorate from Columbia University, and was a Junior Fellow at Harvard. He studied composition with Tristan Murail and Bernard Rands, and piano with Robert Levin and Paul Hersh. He taught at University of Chicago from 2013-20, and joins the faculty of Brown University beginning in Fall 2020.