Pianist Iris Cheng and violinist Hannah MacLean founded the Cheng-MacLean Duo in 2012 during their undergraduate studies in Wheaton, Illinois. The duo has since performed together regularly throughout the United States and Canada, including appearances at the Domaine Forget International Music Festival and Camp Musical des Laurentides. They also frequently perform together in larger chamber ensembles, and have collaborated with outstanding international artists including violist Marina Thibeault and cellist Julie Trudeau.
The Cheng-MacLean Duo is passionate about connecting with audiences beyond the walls of the concert hall. They have played at schools, museums, restaurants, churches, aircraft hangers, correctional centers, libraries, and retirement communities. In the summers, Iris and Hannah serve as artist-faculty members at the Tutti Chamber Music Summer Festival Program in Wheaton, Illinois where they have worked with eminent artist Rachel Barton Pine.
Iris and Hannah are immensely grateful to mentors who have cultivated their musical partnership through the years; these include Heidi Louise Williams, Shannon Thomas, Violaine Melançon, Philip Chiu, Chiharu Iinuma, Paul Zafer, and Daniel Paul Horn. As a duo, they have been coached in master classes by Midori Goto, Régis Pasquier, and Yevgeny Sudbin. Most recently, the Cheng-MacLean Duo made its debut at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in May of 2022, as winners of Florida State University’s Carnegie Hall Entrepreneurship Competition.
Iris Cheng, Piano
Noted for her “dynamic and graceful” performances imbued with “virtuosity” and “truly lyrical expression,” American pianist
Iris Shepherd Cheng has given performances across the United States and Canada and has garnered many awards. An avid soloist and chamber musician, Iris is a founding member of the Cheng-MacLean Duo, and regularly collaborates with a wide variety of outstanding instrumentalists and singers including violist Marina Thibeault, cellist Julie Trudeau, pianist Heidi Louise Williams, and the Florida State University Singers. She has worked with distinguished American composers including James Primosch, Shawn Okpebholo, Liliya Ugay, and Brian Raphael Nabors, and she consistently features a rich diversity of significant recent and 20th century works in her programming, among them solo and chamber works by Dutilleux, Cowell, Barber, Janácek, Bartók, Joan Tower, Hannah Kendall, Jennifer Higdon, and Messiaen.
Prizewinner of the International Young Artist Piano Competition and Florida State University College of Music Carnegie Hall Entrepreneurship Competition, and recipient of the James Streem Scholarship, Rockwood Endowed Scholarship, and Tallahassee Music Guild Scholarship Janice Harsanyi Award, Iris holds a DM in Piano Performance and two MM degrees, in Piano Performance and in Piano Pedagogy-Performance, from the Florida State University College of Music. She completed her BM Piano Performance degree at Wheaton College, Illinois, and has also participated in national and international music festivals including Domaine Forget International Music Festival, Camp Musical des Laurentides, and the MasterWorks Festival. Her teachers, chamber coaches, and advisors include Dr. Heidi Louise Williams, Dr. Daniel Paul Horn, Faye Bonner, Philip Chiu, Chiharu Iinuma, and Dr. Diana Dumlavwalla.
An active pedagogue and collaborative pianist, Iris is artist-faculty for the Tutti Chamber Music Summer Festival Program in Wheaton, Illinois, faculty at the Opal Music Studio in Alexandria, Virginia, Associate Pianist for the National Children’s Chorus, and pianist for the American Youth Chorus, and pianist for the National Cathedral School and St. Albans School. She also maintains a private studio in Washington, D.C. Iris has served as adjunct instructor at Wallace Community College in Dothan Alabama and on the board of the FSU Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Chapter. She has also served on the board of the FSU Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Chapter.
Upcoming projects include a solo debut album to be released by Albany Records featuring contemporary piano works and recorded premieres by Eleanor Alberga, James Lee III, Brian Raphael Nabors, Shawn Okpebholo, and Hannah Kendall.
Hannah MacLean, Violin
American violinist Hannah Ruth MacLean is an avid performer of solo, chamber, and orchestral music and has performed throughout the United States and Canada. As a chamber musician, Hannah has collaborated with Rachel Barton Pine, Philip Chiu, Marina Thibeault, David Kalhous, Lambert Chen, Paul Zafer, and Julie Trudeau, and she is a founding member of the Cheng-MacLean duo. Hannah serves as the Principal Second Violinist of the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, and regularly performs as a section violinist of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, and Sinfonia Gulf Coast. She served as concertmaster of the Florida University Symphony Orchestra during its 2020-2021 season and she was the winner of the 2021 Doctoral Concerto Competition at Florida State University, performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto.
Hannah holds a Doctorate of Music in Violin Performance at Florida State University, where she served as graduate teaching assistant to Dr. Shannon Thomas. She earned her Master of Music in Violin Performance from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University and a Bachelor of Music Education from Wheaton College. Her primary teachers include Violaine Melançon, Felicia Moye, and Paul Zafer.
Hannah has appeared at numerous summer festivals, including Bowdoin International Music Festival, Domaine Forget International Music Festival, Northwestern Summer Violin Institute, and Camp Musical des Laurentides. She has performed in masterclasses for esteemed violinists Midori Goto, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Ilya Kaler, Rachel Barton Pine, Paul Kantor, Martin Chalifour, Régis Pasquier, and Lucie Roberts.
As a dedicated pedagogue, Hannah teaches undergraduate violinists and coaches chamber music ensembles at Florida State University. She coaches the first violin sections in the Tallahassee Youth Orchestras, and she maintains a private studio. In the summers, Hannah serves as artist-faculty for the Tutti Chamber Music Summer Festival Program in Wheaton, Illinois.