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Teenage pianist to play at Sovereign Majestic Theater

  • Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2013:07:12 11:15:03

    As a child, Tiffany Cheng, Pottsville, tapped out tunes like the lullaby "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" on a piano at the former China Inn in Llewellyn, which her parents owned.
     

    "There was an upright piano in the restaurant. It was up against the wall. Nobody played it. It was just for show. So I would go over and play things, easy songs with one hand," Cheng, 17, a recent graduate of Pottsville Area High School, said Friday.
     

    After years of lessons, Cheng has become a talented pianist who can play the masterworks of composers like Chopin and Debussy with a touch as easy as a summer breeze.
     

    While she has performed on prestigious stages, including Carnegie Hall in New York, she hasn't had the opportunity to do her own concert, until now.
     

    "An Evening with Tiffany Cheng" will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 15 at Sovereign Majestic Theater, 209 N. Centre St., Pottsville. Tickets are $15 each and available from the Pottsville Area Development Corp., 1 S. Second St., Pottsville, by calling 570-628-4647.
     

    "Tiffany will perform three-quarters of the show as a soloist. There will be a special guest performance by a violinist," said Sandy Kost-Sterner, chairwoman of the event.
     

    Cheng said the violinist is a friend of hers, Holly Workman, 17, of Lancaster.
     

    "Holly will do one or two solos and will also do some duets with Tiffany," Kost-Sterner said.
     

    "Last summer, I did an international music festival in Italy and France and I went with her," Cheng said.
     

    Cheng said she is doing the concert for charity and intends to donate her share to Sovereign Majestic Theater.
     

    "I'm doing it to support the arts," she said.
     

    Born in Pottsville, Nov. 2, 1995, she is a daughter of Kwunchak Cheng and Michelle Wong Cheng. Her family includes a brother, Vincent, 28, and a sister, Susan, 21.
     

    Today, her parents are part of a partnership that owns Imperial Garden, a Chinese restaurant at 65 Cedar Park Blvd., Easton, Northampton County.
     

    When Cheng was 4, her parents encouraged her to take piano lessons. One of her teachers was Ursula Ingolfsson-Fassbind, director of Leopold Mozart Academy in Philadelphia.
     

    "I took lessons from her from when I was 6 until I was 14 or 15," Cheng said. Cheng participated in competitions that gave her the opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall three times - in 2004, 2007 and 2012.
     

    In 2004 and 2007, she participated in the Young Pianists Competition in New Jersey and in 2012, she participated in the American Asian Fine Arts Association Young Artists Competition, also in New Jersey.
     

    She was among the winners in all three competitions. She couldn't recall how she placed in those events when interviewed Friday but she said the winners were given the opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
     

    Today, she studies piano under the direction of Frances Veri, founder of the Pennsylvania Music Academy in Lancaster.
     

    Cheng is a 2013 graduate of Pottsville Area High School. She was a member of the National Honor Society and she played piano in the PAHS Jazz Band, Kost-Sterner said.
     

    In September, she will attend New York University in New York City. Pursuing a career in the medical field while continuing to study music, she will be taking two majors, biology and piano performance.
     

    "Since I'm going to New York City, I'm hoping there will be a lot of opportunities for me to perform," she said.
     

    When she was a child, she enjoyed the simple pleasure of playing piano for fun. Now, she said she enjoys the victory of precision.
     

    "Usually, I think about what I play before I play. I think a lot before I play because for me, you don't just play. Anybody can sit down here and just press the keys and look at the notes.

    But to really play, you have to understand the music, and I don't mean just looking at the music. You think about what the composer wanted, how they wanted it to sound."
     

    She said she prefers composers like Chopin, Debussy and Schubert and she'll be playing their music at her concert.
     

    "I like romance, so I like Chopin and I like classical, Mozart and Beethoven," she said.



    Source: http://republicanherald.com/news/teenage-pianist-to-grace-the-stage-at-sovereign-majestic-theater-1.1519924