Biography

Dominic Cheli’s playing has been described as “spontaneous yet perfect, the best of how a young person can play” (Symphony Magazine). He enjoys a rapidly advancing career, including his Walt Disney Concert Hall Debut with legendary conductor Valery Gergiev, his Carnegie Hall Recital Debut, as well as upcoming CDs on the Naxos label. In July 2017, Cheli’s first CD, featuring the music of Muzio Clementi and released by Naxos, was hailed as “definitive performances, that match splendid playing with an appreciation of Clementi’s diverse, classically based style.” Also in 2017, Dominic was named 1st prize winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York City.

Winner of the 2017 Music Academy of the West Concerto Competition, Dominic performed Prokofiev’s 2nd Piano concerto with conductor, composer and MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient, Matthew Aucoin. Described as a “barnstorming Goliath” Mr. Cheli’s performance of Prokofiev’s 2nd concerto “roared like a locomotive, shot firebrands of energy this way and that, while the piano strained to keep in one piece under the thrall of Cheli’s glorious technique.” (Santa Barbara Voice Magazine).

A native of St. Louis, Dominic has performed with the Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis, as well as orchestras all across the country and abroad including the DuPage Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Princeton Symphony, Colburn Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie (Germany), and the Great Falls Symphony. He has worked with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Markus Huber, Rossen Milanov, Arthur Fagen, Matthew Aucoin, and many others. Dominic recently debuted at several major festivals across the United States including the Ravinia Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, and the Virginia Arts Festival. Upcoming engagements included appearances at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, performances with the San Diego Symphony, and recitals at the Samos Artists Festival in Greece.

Committed to engaging with his surrounding community, Dominic regularly performs at high schools, retirement homes, and gives both masterclasses and lectures for his younger audiences. Upon invitation, he has performed with Paul Coletti at ViolaFest in Los Angeles for younger students, and “Baby Got Bach” with Pianist Orli Shaham at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC. Dominic has performs as an artist for Project: Music Heals Us, a non-profit organization that presents interactive classical music performances to diverse audiences in order to provide encouragement, education, and healing with a focus on elderly, disabled, rehabilitating, incarcerated, and homeless populations.

In 2018, Dominic was invited by his mentor, Andre-Michel Schub to perform at the Virginia Arts Festival, both as a soloist and collaborator, in concerts centered around the music of Mozart. They collaborated in Mozart’s Double and Triple Piano Concertos with the Virginia Symphony, as well as in recital where “Cheli delivered one brilliant performance…it was a dazzling moment by a pianist whose name is destined for Schub-ian heights.” (Virginia Gazette) Mr. Cheli has studied at the Manhattan School of Music, Yale University and the Colburn School. Andre-Michel Schub, Peter Frankl, Fabio Bidini, Zena Ilyashov, and Sylvia Rosenberg are individuals who have been especially influential on his development as an artist.

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 Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 7 (3rd mov)

    Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 7 (3rd mov)

  • See video  Carl Vine Piano Sonata No. 1

    Carl Vine Piano Sonata No. 1

  • See video  Liszt/Mozart Don Juan Fantasy

    Liszt/Mozart Don Juan Fantasy

  • See video  Scriabin Fantasy in B Minor

    Scriabin Fantasy in B Minor

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