guelph musicfest


season 12 — friday may 25 to friday june 15, 2018
Friday May 25, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Guelph Youth Music Centre Recital Hall
75 Cardigan Street, Guelph, ON

Sheng Cai (piano)

Scarlatti … Mendelssohn … Beethoven … Chopin … Rachmaninoff

It was balm for the ears. It was the reunion with the music itself. It was also… the best way to clear any doubts about the technical qualities that have won multiple awards.
Informador, Mexico 2015
Scarlatti Sonata in E major, K.20, L.375
Mendelssohn Andante & Rondo Capriccioso, op. 14
Beethoven Sonata, op. 81a "Les Adieux"
Chopin Ballade No. 3 in A flat major, op. 47
Rachmaninoff 6 Moments musicaux, op. 16
WATCH & LISTEN to Sheng Cai
Stacks Image 49
After his brilliant Musicfest appearance in 2015, audiences were cheering and asking for a return performance. Award-winning pianist Sheng Cai has embraced the keyboard tradition which epitomizes the greatness of the Romantic virtuoso. His performances have touched audiences and won the praise of critics on three continents. Of his Chopin 1st piano Concerto the Toronto Star headlined “Young pianist impresses at debut” and continued “a young man with real talent... from a clear, singing tone to a subtle sense of rubato to a judicious choice of tempi... some of the same qualities embodied in Pollini's approach.” Honoured with many prizes and awards, Sheng Cai has been described as a pianist “with great confidence... gave more lucidity, color and power” (Birmingham News).

Since his debut with the Toronto Symphony at just fifteen years old, Sheng Cai has since performed a broad spectrum of concerto repertoire—Bartok, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Gershwin, Grieg, Mozart, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Saint-Saens, Schumann, and Tchaikovsky with numerous orchestras as guest soloist such as Toronto Symphony, Quebec Symphony,Windsor Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony, New Bedford Symphony and Shanghai Symphony, as well as with the Calgary Philharmonic, Ontario Philharmonic, Jalisco Philharmonic of Mexico, and many others. In Canada, Sheng Cai has also performed with numerous regional orchestra such as Sudbury, Kingston and Kamloops Symphonies, and with the Winnipeg Symphony Chamber Players and others. He has worked with conductors such as David Lockington, Keith Lockhart, Yoav Talmi, Glen Fast, Robert Franz. Bruce Dunn, Guoyong Zhang, Wes Kenny, Marco Parisotto and Eckart Preu.

In recitals, Sheng Cai has been heard in the North American venues such as Steinway Hall in New York, Jordan Hall in Boston, Cleveland Play House, Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham, CBC's Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, and other distinguished venues in Stratford, Elora, Montreal and Winnipeg. In China, he inaugurated the Ningbo Concert Hall, giving both recitals and concerto performances.

Sheng Cai also recorded at the Glenn Gould Studio for Concertino Praga International Competition in the Czech Republic, these were released under Canadian Broadcasting Company label. He was top-prize winner at competitions throughout his teenage years, including the First Prize at the TD bank sponsored National Piano Competition, the Canadian Music Competition,Toronto Music Competition, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Piano competition, Toronto Symphony Piano Competition, and was the youngest finalist and special prize winner at the Bosendorfer International Piano Competition, and the youngest finalist at Hilton Head International Piano Competition.

Born in China, Sheng Cai studied at the Shanghai conservatory of Music and was a top-prize winner of the National Competition in 1998. The following year, his family immigrated to Canada where he began studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Sheng Cai earned his Bachelor of Music Degree under full scholarship at the New England Conservatory in Boston. His teachers have included pianist Anton Kuerti, Russell Sherman and Hungkuan Chen.

Guelph Musicfest is generously supported by the Neighbourhood Group

Stacks Image 54
Stacks Image 57
Stacks Image 60

There is a $10 food discount coupon for any of the above Guelph restaurants on the back of every Musicfest ticket!

Special thanks to the Family of Richard C. Davis (a true lover of music who believed in Guelph Musicfest)—June, Emory, Deirdre and Eric

© 2018 guelph musicfest | ken gee, artistic director contact