Tracey Tong/metro ottawa


Cellist Bryan Cheng, 9, and his sister, 16-year-old pianist Silvie Cheng, both of Ottawa, practise prior to the Junior Rising Stars Showcase at the Dominion-Chalmers United Church yesterday.

For the past five years, Ottawa youngsters Bryan and Silvie Cheng attended the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival.

This year’s no different, except that the siblings — who are budding musicians — found themselves on the other side.

Silvie, a 16-year-old pianist, and Bryan, a nine-year-old cellist, were two of the young musicians featured during Chamberfest’s first-ever Junior Rising Stars Showcase, held at Dominion-Chalmers United Church yesterday.

“It’s so important that young musicians have a chance to perform in front of a receptive audience like we have here in Ottawa,” said Nicole Presentey, one of the showcase organizers.

While yesterday was the duo’s first time performing at Chamberfest, neither is a stranger to the stage. This month, Silvie performed a solo recital at the National Arts Centre. Other recent performances include the Orford Music Festival and with chamber group Trio Con Brio, of which she is a member. She’s going for her associateship with the Royal Conservatory of Music next month.

Sylvie, whose goal is to “establish my own chamber group and tour prestigious chamber festivals like this one,” said when she’s on stage, her mind isn’t on the audience. “When I’m onstage, I think about the music,” she said.

Ottawa’s Suren Barry, who has attended Chamberfest for years, was also on the program for the first time. The 17-year-old, who has performed at Montreal’s prestigious Chapelle Historique du Bon Pasteur, played Chopin’s Fantasie in F minor.

Although honoured to play in the showcase, he said his performance is the same whether he’s playing for five or 500.

“You just give your best.”

no pressure

  • Bryan Cheng said he actually plays better on stage than at home. His next stop is Montreal’s I Musici Chamber Orchestra's future stars series.