Biography

Applauded by MusicWeb International for his “splendid playing…great skill and technical prowess,” pianist Dominic Cheli is First Prize winner of the 2017 Concert Artists Guild Competition.  Earlier in 2017, Naxos released his debut CD, and he won the Music Academy of the West Concerto Competition, leading to a critically acclaimed performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Festival Orchestra.  His rapidly advancing career includes his European concerto debut in Germany, as well as debut appearances at the Ravinia and Mostly Mozart Festivals in summer 2018.

Highlights of Dominic’s 2018-19 season include his New York recital debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on the CAG New York series, and his Disney Hall concerto debut in Los Angeles with the Colburn Orchestra, led by Valery Gergiev.  Additional featured concerto engagements include the Columbus Symphony and the Princeton Symphony, both under the baton of Rossen Milanov.

A native of St. Louis, Dominic has been praised for playing with “insight and tenderness” and “touch [that] was resonant and rich” (The Heartland Journal).  Highlights of his 2017-18 season include a performance of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto with the Northwestern German Philharmonic, as well as recitals at Steinway Hall in Beverly Hills and the Colburn School in Los Angeles.  His busy spring 2018 schedule included a return to the Virginia Arts Festival for a special concert celebrating his teacher and mentor AndréMichel Schub—including their collaboration on Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos, K.365, and also the Concerto for Three Pianos, K.242 (“Lodron”) with pianist/conductor Arthur Fagen and the Virginia Symphony.

His debut CD for the Naxos label (July 2017) features the music of Muzio Clementi, and has been very favorably reviewed: “Cheli…performs his Clementi with flair and distinction.” (American Record Guide).  Dominic also recently recorded a performance on WQXR’s long-running McGraw Hill Young Artists Showcase program with host Bob Sherman, and he has appeared on the National Public radio program, From the Top.

Among the many notable venues at which Dominic has performed are Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the Granada Theatre of Santa Barbara and the Sheldon Concert Hall of St. Louis.  Also in his hometown, he recently performed Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with the Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis.  Committed to sharing his passion for music with younger audiences, Dominic was recently invited to perform on the concert series “Baby Got Bach,” by pianist and Artistic Director Orli Shaham.

Dominic has received numerous awards from Yale University including the Elizabeth Parisot Prize as “an outstanding pianist” and the Charles S. Miller Prize, awarded to “a gifted pianist who has done outstanding work.” He also received the Harold Bauer Award from the Manhattan School of Music “given to a student in recognition of outstanding accomplishment, cooperation, and promise.”

Dominic Cheli began his musical training in St. Louis, and he is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, California, studying with Fabio Bidini. He earned his Master of Music degree from Yale University and Bachelor’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Past teachers include Zena Ilyashov, Peter Frankl, André-Michel Schub and Sylvia Rosenberg.

Audio

Clementi: Six Monferrinas, WoO 15-20 - No. 3 In Eb Major: Allegretto

Clementi: Twelve Monferrinas, Op. 49 - No. 12 In C Major: Allegro Moderato

Carl Vine: Piano Sonata No.1, Mvt. 2

Rachmaninoff: Etude-Tableux, Op. 39, No. 9

Video

  • See video Bach French Suite no.5 in G major

    Bach French Suite no.5 in G major

  • See video  Carl Vine-Piano Sonata No.1

    Carl Vine-Piano Sonata No.1

  • See video  Six Monferrinas: No. 2

    Six Monferrinas: No. 2

Press

  • Quotes

    “Cheli particularly impressed with his technical mastery, musical sensibility, and his ability to maintain exceptional balances with the strings.” – The Daily Gazette, Schenectady, NY

    “Dominic Cheli approaches these pieces with great skill and technical prowess. Not all of them are virtuosic ‘tour-de-forces’ but when a piece is lacking in difficulty it is often harder to interpret. I have not heard other versions of these works (Pietro Spada on the Art record label, for example) but feel that Cheli has provided definitive performances that match splendid playing with an appreciation of, and sympathy with, Clementi’s diverse, classically based style.” – MusicWeb International

    “It is hard to believe that someone as young as Cheli is able to play with the insight and tenderness that we would expect from a much older and more experienced performer. Cheli transformed the piano into a mini-orchestra of its own, echoing the agility of a violin, the singing of a flute or the deep responsive voice of a double bass. His touch was resonant and rich, with unerring accuracy. The excellent balance maintained between the solo piano and the orchestra made the entire performance particularly gratifying and easy on the ears.” – The Heartland Journal

    “From shy ingénue pre-play, to barnstorming Goliath in performance, Cheli’s huge hands flew over the keyboard in lithe contradiction to their presumed gravity; sundry complexities flowing from Prokofiev’s pen were neatly turned to velvet submissions, in this pianist’s intelligent dissection of fact from froo-froo. Inner voicings and delicate extended solo mediations marked the Andantino- Allegretto while the Scherzo: Vivace roared like a rogue locomotive, the piano straining to keep in one piece under the thrall of Cheli’s glorious technique. Conductor Aucoin, relishing every moment, shot firebrands of energy this way and that. Thrilling!” – Santa Barbara Voice Magazine

Repertoire

  • Orchestral Repertoire

    BACH Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052

    BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15
    Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 19
    Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
    Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
    Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Majo,r Op. 73. “Emperor”

    BRAHMS Piano Concerto no.1 in D minor, Op. 15
    Piano Concerto no.2 in B-flat Major, Op. 83

    CHOPIN Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op. 11
    Piano Concerto no. 2 in F minor , Op. .21

    GERSHWIN Rhapsody in Blue

    GRIEG Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

    LISZT Piano Concerto No.1 in E-flat Major, S. 124
    Piano Concerto No.2 in A major, S. 125
    Totentanz S.126

    MOZART Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major, K. 414
    Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor K.466 **
    Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467
    Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488

    PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op.16
    Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op.26

    RAVEL Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D major
    Piano Concerto in G major **

    RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No.1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 1
    Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, Op. 18
    Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor, Op. 30
    Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43

    SCHUMANN Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.54

    SHOSTAKOVICH Concerto No. 1 in C minor for Piano, Trumpet and Strings, Op. 35

    TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op.23
    Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Major, Op. 44 **

    **new for 2020-21