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Grammy, Emmy Award-winning Pianist Gloria Cheng to Play at Bucknell

Cheng will perform in a Bucknell Piano Series recital entitled ‘Root Progressions’ on Monday, March 4.

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Bucknell University Department of Music will present Grammy and Emmy Award-winning pianist Gloria Cheng in a free, public recital entitled “Root Progressions,” which will feature a set of world premieres by jazz composers, as part of the Bucknell Piano Series on Monday, March 4, at 7:30 p.m., in Natalie Davis Rooke Recital Hall, Sigfried Weis Music Building.

Cheng will visit Bucknell as part of a two-day residency March 4 and 5. In addition to her recital, she will present a cross-campus talk entitled “Perfectly Imperfect: Music, Math and the Keyboard” on Monday, March 4, at 4 p.m., in Olin Science Building, Room 628; and teach a piano masterclass on Tuesday, March 5, at 10:30 a.m., at Rooke Recital Hall.

“Gloria is an iconic figure in the contemporary music world, having worked with almost all the most notable composers of our time — from John Williams to John Adams,” says Bucknell Professor Qing Jiang, music, who co-directs the University’s Piano Series. “She has won some of the top awards in music, including Grammy and Emmy Awards, for her albums and projects.”

Cheng performs all over the world and was the winner of the Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without orchestra) Grammy for her 2008 recording “Piano Music of Salonen, Stucky, and Lutosławski.” She also received a second nomination in 2013 for “The Edge of Light: Messiaen/Saariaho.” She made a film-composer documentary called Montage: Great Film Composers and the Piano, which aired on PBS SoCal, landing her a 2018 Los Angeles Area Emmy.

As a recitalist, she has performed at the Ojai Music Festival (where her long association with noted composer Pierre Boulez began in 1984), the Chicago Humanities Festival, the William Kapell Festival, the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, and the Mendocino and Chautauqua Music Festivals. Her numerous premieres and dedications include John Williams’ “Prelude and Scherzo for Piano and Orchestra,” which was dedicated to Cheng and pianist Lang Lang.

Her current project, “Root Progressions,” explores the nexus of jazz and experimental music in six commissions from noted composer/improvisers Anthony Davis, Jon Jang, James Newton, Arturo O’Farrill, Linda May Han Oh and Gernot Wolfgang.

Cheng is an adjunct professor at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. She is frequently invited to advocate for contemporary music and, in 2012, was selected as a Regents Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. The Yvar Mikhashoff Trust for New Music awarded her their annual prize in 2023.

The Bucknell Piano Series gives University students the chance to display their talent and work with world-renowned artists to perfect their craft. It is supported by the Kushell Music Endowment of Bucknell University and the Department of Music. Cheng’s residency is also funded by the University Lectureship Committee and the Department of Mathematics.

Additional information on Cheng’s visit may be obtained by contacting Jiang at


CONTACTS: Qing Jiang, music, 570-577-3892,; Megan Collins,; Mike Ferlazzo, 570-577-3212, 570-238-6266 (c),

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