Iris Cheng, Piano
Noted for her “dynamic and graceful” performances imbued with “virtuosity” and “truly lyrical expression,” American pianist Iris Shepherd Cheng has given performances across the United States and Canada and has garnered numerous awards. An avid soloist and chamber musician, Iris is a founding member of the Cheng-MacLean Duo and she regularly collaborates with a wide variety of outstanding instrumentalists and singers including violist Marina Thibeault, cellist Julie Trudeau, pianist Heidi Louise Williams, the Florida State University Singers, and the National Children’s Chorus. In 2022, the Cheng-MacLean Duo gave their New York debut in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, performing works from the 20th and 21st century, including a commissioned piece by Kyle W. Brown. Iris has worked with distinguished American composers including Shawn Okpebholo, David Baker, Liliya Ugay, and Brian Raphael Nabors; her programming highlights the rich diversity of contemporary works through the performance of solo and chamber works by Henri Dutilleux, George Enescu, Leoš Janáček, Béla Bartók, Jennifer Higdon, and Joan Tower. Upcoming projects include a solo debut album to be released by Albany Records featuring contemporary piano works and recorded premieres by Eleanor Alberga, James Lee III, Brian Raphael Nabors, Shawn Okpebholo, and Hannah Kendall.
Prizewinner of the International Young Artist Piano Competition and Florida State University College of Music Carnegie Hall Entrepreneurship Competition, and recipient of the James Streem Scholarship, Rockwood Endowed Scholarship, and Tallahassee Music Guild Scholarship Janice Harsanyi Award, Iris holds two MM degrees, in Piano Performance and in Piano Pedagogy-Performance, from the Florida State University College of Music, where she is currently pursuing a DM in Piano Performance. She completed her BM Piano Performance degree at Wheaton College, Illinois, and has also participated in national and international music festivals including Domaine Forget International Music Festival, Camp Musical des Laurentides, and the MasterWorks Festival. Her piano mentors include Dr. Heidi Louise Williams, Dr. Daniel Paul Horn, Faye Bonner, Philip Chiu, Chiharu Iinuma, and Dr. Diana Dumlavwalla.
As a pedagogue, Iris considers teaching a great responsibility and privilege. She seeks to help each student develop their personal musical voice, and in the process, become thoughtful and committed musicians. Iris is artist-faculty for the Tutti Chamber Music Summer Festival Program in Wheaton, Illinois. Prior to relocating to Washington D.C., Iris served as adjunct instructor at Wallace Community College in Dothan Alabama and on the board of the FSU Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Chapter.