Carleton College invites the public to a presentation and performance by Grammy Award-winning pianist Gloria Cheng on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema. Cheng will present the documentary film version of “MONTAGE: Great Film Composers and the Piano,” produced in conjunction with her CD release of the same name, highlighting some of Hollywood’s leading film composers. World-renowned for her own poetic and rigorous performances of contemporary music, Cheng will also present a solo performance on piano.
On Saturday, Feb. 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Cheng will also present a master class in piano in the Carleton Concert Hall.
According to The Boston Globe, “Cheng is an authority on modern piano music, having premiered works that run the aesthetic gamut from Terry Riley to Pierre Boulez.” Cheng’s recitals and recordings depict wide-ranging tastes across the contemporary landscape and often explore significant interconnections between composers. Her 2008 album, Piano Music of Esa-Pekka Salonen, Steven Stucky, and Witold Lutosławski (Telarc), captured the Grammy for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance without Orchestra, and her 2013 release, The Edge of Light: Messiaen/Saariaho (harmonia mundi usa), was nominated for Best Classical Instrumental Solo.
In 2015 she released “MONTAGE: Great Film Composers and the Piano,” a CD featuring solo works composed for her by Bruce Broughton (“Silverado,” “Young Sherlock Holmes”), Don Davis (“The Matrix,” “Beauty and the Beast”), Alexandre Desplat (“The Queen,” “Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Argo”), Michael Giacchino (“Up,” “Lost,” “Ratatouille”), Ran Randy Newman (“Monsters, Inc.,” “Toy Story”), and John Williams (“Star Wars,” “Jaws,” “E.T.”). The album included a documentary film chronicling the collaborations and recording process, which will be screened as part of Cheng’s Carleton appearance.
The six composers featured in “MONTAGE” are among today’s most sought-after creators of film music, acclaimed for their skill at creating mood and propelling action for a audiences. But Cheng asks, “When working away from the movie screen, what melodies, harmonies, and cadences might haunt their private dreams?” She offers an answer to those questions with first recordings of their new works for solo piano, “a medium that can often reveal a composer’s truest voice.”
Cheng received her BA in economics from Stanford University, followed by graduate degrees in music from UCLA, where she studied with Aube Tzerko, and from the University of Southern California, as a student of John Perry. She teaches at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music where she has initiated classes that unite performers and composers. She is often invited to speak as an advocate for contemporary music, and in 2012 served as Regents Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. Learn more about Cheng at www.gloriachengpiano.com.
The Weitz Center for Creativity is located at Third and College Streets in Northfield. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4475.
This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Department of Music, with support from the Laudie D. Porter Concert Fund.