Twenty-year-old Rachel Cheung Wai Ching was born in Hong Kong. She studied in Maryknoll Convent School since Primary one and has recently completed the Bachelor of Music Degree with First Class Honours at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, in the class of Prof. Eleanor Wong – Senior Lecturer (Keyboard) and Artist-in-Residence.
Rachel has won numerous first prizes and awards in Hong Kong and overseas. In 2008, she won the 2nd Prize , the Schubert Sonata Prize as well as the Youngest Participant Prize at the ‘ 28th Alessandro Casagrande International Piano Competition’ in Italy. In June 2004, she won the First Prize and a ‘Peer Jury Prize’ for the most popular finalist at the ‘2004 Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition’ in Salt Lake City, the United States. May 2003, Rachel won the First Prize at the “International Competition for Young Pianist in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz” in Ukraine. Apart from winning the Gold Medal, she was awarded three special prizes from the juries which included the prize for the “Most Outstanding Concerto Performance”. At her first competition in Europe, she claimed First Prize at the ‘2002 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, Wales.’ At the ‘Steinway and Sons International Youth Piano Competition’, she won First Prize in the Hong Kong regional competition in 2001. Most recently, Rachel won the fifth prize in a major international contest ‘16th Leeds International Piano Competition’ . the best result a Hong Kong pianist has ever achieved in this prestigious competition. She was also a semi-finalist at the 16th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw 2010.
Rachel was awarded numerous scholarships including ‘The Robert H.N.Ho Family Foundation Scholarship’, ‘The Coutts Bank Scholarship’, ‘Lee Shuk Chee Memorial Scholarship’, ‘Hong Kong Music Scholarship’ and was sponsored by the ‘Simon K.Y. Lee Foundation’ . Most recently, Rachel was awarded scholarships such as ‘ Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund Scholarship’, ‘Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation Scholarship’, ‘Bernard van Zuidan Music Fund Scholarship’ and ‘School of Music Staff Prize Scholarship’.
Rachel also excels in general studies, winning the ‘2002 Hong Kong Outstanding Student Award’. In May, 2004, she was awarded the ‘Certificate of Commendation’ by the Hong Kong Government for making outstanding achievements in the promotion of arts and culture in Hong Kong. In May 2010, Rachel was awarded the ‘ Award for Young Artist 2009’ presented by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council , for making valuable contributions to the advancement of art and art education in the community.
She has performed frequently in Hong Kong and overseas as soloist. Through the generous sponsorship of ‘The Hong Kong Chopin Society’, Rachel made her debut at the City Hall Hong Kong and Uruguay. Year 2005, as the youngest soloist ever, Rachel performed a solo recital at the 33rd Hong Kong Arts Festival. She was invited to perform in the ‘Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Vladimir Horowitz Concert’ in Kiev, concert tours of United States for two consecutive years and recitals in UK, Paris, Taiwan , Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing . Rachel was also invited to take part in many prestigious international music festivals including ‘The 9th Musical Olympus International Festival’ in Russia , ‘The 59th ,61st , 62nd , 63rd and the 65th International Chopin Festival’ in Duszniki, Poland, ‘The 8th and 10th Miami International Piano Festival’ , ‘Virtuosos of Planet 2006 ’ in Kiev, Ukraine to celebrate the 50th anniversary of World Federation of International Music Competition (WFIMC). ‘The 2007 Golandsky Institute International Piano Festival’ in Princeton University, USA. In 2009, Rachel was invited to play in Festival Transeuropéennes in Rouen, France. Same year, she made her debuts at the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and the Steinway Hall in London. In May 2013, she will make her debut at the Royal Concertgebouw in the Netherlands and Bratislava, Slovakia.
Rachel has collaborated with many orchestras including ‘The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine’, ‘St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra’ ,‘Beethoven Orchestra Bonn’ , ‘Orchestra at Temple Square’ in Salt Lake City, ‘Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’ , ‘Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra’ , ‘ Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Junior Chamber Orchestra’ ,‘Hong Kong Sinfonietta’ and the ‘ Hallé Orchestra’, conducted by Sir Mark Elder. October 2009, Rachel also performed with the Sydney Symphony under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy.
June 2007, Rachel’s first DVD –‘ RACHEL CHEUNG – KEYBOARD PRODIGY LIVE IN RECITAL MIAMI INTERNATIONAL PIANO FESTIVAL 2005’ was released by VAIMUSIC . Her first CD, under the Alpha Omega Sound label of the Chopin Society of Hong Kong, was released in 2009.
In January 2011, Rachel became a young Steinway Artist. She is currently pursuing her musical studies with Prof. Peter Frankl at Yale School of Music.