Anthony Cheung is a composer and pianist. His output ranges from solo to orchestral works, occasionally with electronics. His music has been commissioned by the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, New York Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Scharoun Ensemble Berlin, and also performed by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Linea, the Chicago Symphonyʼs MusicNOW ensemble, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the French National Orchestras of Lille and Lorraine, among many others. From 2015-17, he was the Daniel R. Lewis Young Composer Fellow with the Cleveland Orchestra.
He has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (Charles Ives Scholarship and Fellowship) and ASCAP, and first prize in the Sixth International Dutilleux Competition (2008), as well as a Rome Prize (2012), resulting in a yearlong residency at the American Academy in Rome. He is also the recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship.
His music has been programmed at festivals such as Ultraschall (Berlin), Présences (Paris), impuls (Graz), Cresc. Biennale (Frankfurt), Wittener Tage, Tanglewood, Aspen, Mostly Mozart, Helsinki Festival, Musica Nova Helsinki, Centre Acanthes (Metz), Musica (Strasbourg), and Nuova Consonanza (Rome).
He co-directed the Talea Ensemble from its founding in 2007 until 2017, performing as a pianist and serving as Artistic Director. In the former capacity, he has worked with prominent composers such as Hans Abrahamsen, Julian Anderson, Pierre Boulez, Steve Coleman, Iancu Dumitrescu, Stefano Gervasoni, Steve Lehman, and Tristan Murail. He also has an active role in curating and programming works.
As a writer and scholar, he wrote a dissertation on György Ligeti (on the Hamburg Concerto), as well as articles on contemporary music for both specialists and a general readership.
Primary musical interests include notational aesthetics, jazz improvisation and transcription, microtonality and alternate tunings, rhythmic polyphony, and temporal perception. His music reveals an interest in the ambiguity of sound sources and the subtle transformation and manipulation of timbre allied with harmony, sometimes leading him to explore electronics. It also engages poetic imagery, syntax and rhetoric, natural phenomena, and the visual arts. Representations of space and place are common themes in his work, achieved through innovations in spatialization and orchestration, as well as with musical allusions and actual source material via field recordings.
Anthony received a B.A. in Music and History from Harvard and a doctorate from Columbia University, where he taught and also served as assistant conductor of the Columbia University Orchestra. He was a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Chicago.