Friday May 31, 2024 at 7:30 pm
Guelph Youth Music Centre Recital Hall
75 Cardigan Street, Guelph, ON

Sheng Cai (piano)

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Beethoven Sonata in E flat major, Op. 31, No. 3 (“The Hunt”)
Oskar Morawetz Fantasy Elegy and Toccata (1956)
Rachmaninoff Four Preludes
Op. 32, No. 5 in G Major: Moderato
Op. 23, No. 5 in G Minor: Alla marcia
Op. 23, No. 4 in D Major: Andante cantabile
Op. 23, No. 2 in B-Flat Major: Maestoso
Chopin Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52
Rachmaninoff Sonata No. 2 in b flat minor, Op. 36 (1913 original version)
Recently described as "having the inner passion paired with Rubinstein's nonchalance" by Thüringer Allgemeine in Germany, Canadian pianist Sheng Cai has embraced the keyboard tradition, which epitomizes the greatness of the romantic virtuoso. His performances of major keyboard works of the past centuries have touched audiences and won the praise of critics on four continents. Opera Plus review in Prague praised his playing as " Accurate interpretation and great interplay...excellent technique, spontaneous rhythmic feeling and the use of the maximum sound color of the piano" and described as a pianist " with great confidence... gave more lucidity, color and power" by the Birmingham News. Sheng Cai has been honoured with a number of prizes and awards and continues to push the boundaries in interpreting both the established and rarities of the piano literature.

Since winning the top prizes at Concour OSM (Montreal Symphony competition) and Toronto Symphony’s competition at 15 years old , Sheng Cai has performed a broad spectrum of over 35 different piano concertos from Mozart to 21st-century living composers with invitations to dozens of orchestras worldwide as guest soloist. Recent concerto performances include invitations to perform with the Toronto Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Quebec Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Calgary Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Windsor Symphony, Canton Symphony of Ohio, Fort Collins Symphony, New Bedford Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, Shenzhen Symphony, in Germany with Philharmonisches Orchester Erfurt, Sinfonieorchester Aachen,Thüringen Philharmonie Gotha-Eisenach, Philharmonie Südwestfalen, Oldenburgisches Staatsorchester, Orchestre National de Cannes in France, Malaga Philharmonic of Spain, Biel Solothurn Symphony of Switzerland, Krakow Philharmonic of Poland, North Czech Philharmonic, Jalisco Philharmonic of Mexico, Orquesta Filarmonica de Bogota in Colombia among many others. He has recently worked with many esteemed conductors such as Keith Lockhart, Yoav Talmi, Gerhardt Zimmermann, Rune Bergmann, David Lockington,Robert Moody, Charles Olivieri-Munroe, Yannis Pouspourikas, Myron Michailidis, Donato Cabrera, Robert Franz , Dina Gilbert, Eduard Topchjan, Adam Johnson, Marco Parisotto and Eckart Preu.

In solo recitals, Sheng Cai has been presented at many prestigious venues in North America and Europe, such as Steinway Hall in New York, Jordan Hall in Boston, Chicago's International Music Center, the Cleveland Play House, the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, the Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham, CBC's Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, and other distinguished venues in Stratford, Elora, Montreal, Kingston and Winnipeg. As a chamber musician, Sheng Cai has collaborated with a number of fine artists, including the Enso String Quartet. Many of his recent performances have been broadcast across North America and Europe, such as Radio France Musique, CBC Radio Canada, WCLV Radio Ohio and WFMT Radio Chicago in the US and Czech Radio.

Sheng Cai is a passionate recording artist, his first recording was a CD of works by Mozart and Martinu for the Canadian Broadcast Company. His most recent Liszt, Grieg and Rachmaninoff discs on ATMA Classique label gained international acclaim from the American Record Guide, Classics Today, The International Music Web Review in the UK, the Wholenote Magazine in Canada and the Fanfare Music Magazine in the US.

He was a top-prize winner at many competitions throughout his teenage years, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition (Concours OSM), Toronto Symphony Piano Competition, The International Young Artists Competition of Colorado, The Bay State competition in Boston, and he was the youngest finalist and special prize winner at the Bösendorfer International Piano Competition in the US.

Sheng Cai is instrumental in advocating many neglected works that are peaks of the piano literature, works by composers such as Enescu, Kabalevsky, Kapustin, Medtner, Morawetz, Villa-Lobos and a number of his own works frequently shows up on his concert programs, his creative programming have made the audience aware of such treasures of the piano literature deserves a wider audience.

Sheng Cai began his musical studies in Canada and the US as a student at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and the Juilliard School's pre-college division in New York. He received his Bachelor of Music Degree under full scholarship at The New England Conservatory in Boston. His teachers and mentors include pianists Anton Kuerti, Gary Graffman and Russell Sherman.

Guelph Musicfest 2024 is grateful for the continuing generous support of an
Anonymous Donor
as well as the contributions of many individual supporters

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