Nathan Cheung Headshot

Nathan Cheung

Staff Pianist

Full 6 Week Session

Visiting Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano, Indiana University

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. Nathan Cheung is known for his versatility as a soloist, collaborator, composer, and improviser. These roles are fueled by a life-long passion to discover artistry and accessibility—to understand the power of great music and tap into its potential to resonate with people from all walks of life. He maintains a deep interest in music outside of the classical canon and meaningful ways in which different styles of music can inform each other.

Dr. Cheung claimed the 1st prize in the 2019 Los Angeles International Piano Competition and won top prizes in the Wideman International Piano Competition and Seattle International Piano Competition. In solo recitals, Dr. Cheung enjoys producing themed programs or showcasing underrepresented works. He is also a member of Happy Dog Duo with his longtime piano partner and friend, Eric Tran. Together, they won the 2017 Ellis Duo Piano Competition and the 2018 inaugural MTNA Stecher-Horowitz Two Piano Competition. They are known for their innovative programming, fully memorized performances, and unabashed humor, bringing a fresh perspective to the four-hands repertoire.

His love of making music with others spurs his robust activity as a collaborative pianist. Dr. Cheung’s achievements include collaborative piano fellowships in Music Academy of the West, SongFest, and the Aspen Music Festival. As a composer, Cheung has had his miniatures featured in the United States Open Music Competition and his String Quartet premiered by the St. Lawrence String Quartet. His output consists also of works for non-Western instruments, such as the Chinese Liuqin and Korean Samulnori percussion. In this vein, Cheung’s improvisations also draw from an eclectic array of styles. A rare recipient of Eastman’s Advanced Diploma in the Art of Improvisation, he gladly welcomes all requests for Happy Birthday in the key and style of their choice for style imitation study.

He received a doctorate and two masters degrees from the Eastman School of Music, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University. Throughout his studies, his primary teachers were Natalya Antonova, Jean Barr, Nelita True, and Thomas Schultz.

Currently, Dr. Cheung is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano at Indiana University Bloomington where he coaches students on the art of collaborative piano and assumes staff pianist roles. Dr. Cheung also maintains a small private studio online and has had students win top prizes in the United States Open Music Competition.