Yhe Hong Kong-born pianist, Rachel Cheung Wai Ching, started piano lessons at the age of 4. She has been a student at Maryknoll Convent School since Primary one and is currently a senior student at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, studying under Professor Eleanor Wong, Senior Lecturer (Keyboard) and Artist-in-Residence.
Rachel Cheung has won numerous first prizes and awards in Hong Kong and overseas. She won First Prize at the Hong Kong regional competition of the Steinway and Sons International Youth Piano Competition in 2001. At her first competition in Europe, she claimed First Prize at the 2002 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, Wales. In May 2003, Rachel won 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 jury which included the prize for the Most Outstanding Concerto Performance. In June 2004, she won the First Prize and a Peer Jury Prize for being the most popular finalist at the 2004 Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition in Salt Lake City, the USA. In 2008, she won the second prize at the Alessandro Casagrande International Piano Competition. In September, 2009 Rachel won the fifth prize at the Leeds International Pianoforte 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 Cheung 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 is now fully sponsored by the Simon K.Y. Lee Foundation. 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.
Rachel Cheung has performed frequently in Hong Kong and overseas as soloist including the Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Vladimir Horowitz Concert in Kiev, concert tours of USA for two consecutive years and recitals in Taiwan and Singapore. Rachel was also invited to take part in many prestigious international music festivals including The 9th Musical Olympus International Festival’ in Russia, The 59th and 61st International Chopin Festival in Poland and the 8th and 10th Miami International Piano Festival in USA. In July 2007, she played the opening concert of the Golandsky Institute and Miami International Piano Festival’s season. Through the generous sponsorship of The Hong Kong Chopin Society, Rachel made her debut recital at the City Hall Hong Kong and in Uruguay. In 2005, as the youngest soloist ever, Rachel performed a solo recital at the 33rd Hong Kong Arts Festival. She was invited to perform at the Hong Kong Disneyland Grand Opening Concert in September, 2005.
Rachel Cheung has collaborated with many orchestras including The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in Kiev, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in Russia, Beethoven Orchester Bonn in Germany, Orchestra at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, USA, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Junior Chamber Orchestra and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. 2007 marked her third collaboration with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, with which she had previously played L.v. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in January 2006. Other recent performances include: taking part in an International Festival “Virtuosos of Planet” in Kiev, Ukraine to celebrate the 50th anniversary of World Federation of International Music Competition (WFIMC) in September 2006, and performing at the 'Joy of Music Festival' presented by the Hong Kong Chopin Society in December 2006.
The years 2007 and 2008 took Rachel Cheung to USA again where she performed at the Golandsky Institute International Piano Festival and the Portland International Piano Festival. By the invitation from the director of the prestigious Chopin International Piano Festival, Duszniki, Poland, she appeared in recitals at the festival for the next five years - the first and the only pianist to have received this honour. In June 2007, Rachel’s first DVD, Rachel Cheung–Keyboard Prodigy LIVE in Recital Miami International Piano Festival 2005, was released by VAI Music.