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Cellist Bryan Cheng Wins Canada's Virginia Parker Prize

Valued at $25,000 CAD, the prize is awarded to an outstanding young Canadian musician under the age of 32


Administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Virginia Parker Prize is worth $25,000 CAD and is awarded to a musician under the age of 32 who demonstrates outstanding talent, musicianship, and artistic excellence. Canadian cellist Bryan Cheng has been announced as this year's winner.

Born in Ottawa, Cheng made his Carnegie Hall debut with a sold-out recital when he was just 14 years old. At 20, Cheng appeared as a soloist with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen in the Elbphilharmonie. He is the first-ever cellist to win the Verbier Festival’s prestigious Prix Yves Paternot.

Cheng received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Universität der Künste Berlin and is now studying at Germany’s Kronberg Academy. He has been a prizewinner in major competitions, including the Queen Elisabeth, Geneva, and Paulo.

"I’m deeply humbled to be announced today as the 2023 recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada's Virginia Parker Prize, the nation’s highest distinction for young musicians," Cheng said.

"Besides the handsome stipend which will help to make some of my dream long-term projects come true, I’m especially honored to be counted among a long list of Canadian classical music legends and heroes of mine, such as James Ehnes and Yannick Nezet-Seguin," he continued.

"The Canada Council has been absolutely instrumental in supporting my career over the last 6 years, starting with receiving the NYO Canada Michael Measures Prize in 2017, to winning their Musical Instrument Bank competition in 2018 and 2023, resulting in consecutive loans of the ca. 1696 ‘Bonjour’ Stradivari, to their incredible generosity in financially assisting nearly every national and international tour that I have undertaken since 2018, as well as the recording of Cheng² Duo’s most recent album, Portrait."

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