Alex Cheung - Violinist/Fiddler/Composer
Trained as a classical violinist, Toronto musician Alex Cheung is continuing his journey through many different musical styles and genres. Is he a violinist? Is he a fiddler? Well, he's both. He has had the opportunity to perform folk, Celtic, pop/rock, country, R&B and, of course, classical music. Alex's proficiency in melody creation and arrangement, combined with his improvisation skills, has led him to an array of wonderful music created by other artists he now collaborates with.
Alex was born and raised in Hong Kong. He picked up a 1/8-sized violin for the first time at the age of five. Alex has always had a passion for live music. "I love the energy and unpredictability of performing in front of a live audience - it's a real adrenalin rush!"
Besides giving private lessons at his studio, Alex also teaches violin at the University Settlement Music & Arts School and Yip's Music and Montessori School. Since the beginning of 2006, Alex has been involved with several bands - an acoustic 80's band the McFlies
, Celtic band Up All Night
and most recently bluegrass/folk/roots group Often Running. Over the years, Alex has worked with many singer/songwriters including Adlai Waxman, Philomene Hoffman, Julie C, Melanie Joy, Michael Holt, Luke Jackson and Donna Ferra. As part of Poco Duet with harpist Cecilia Kerwin, Alex performs classical and light contemporary music at weddings, receptions and cocktail parties. In Sept 2006, Alex participated in a remix contest hosted by Peter Gabriel's Realworld Records; his work on remixing Gabriel's 1982 hit "Shock the Monkey" earned Alex an honourable mention and some wonderful compliments from Peter Gabriel himself!
Alex's influences include classical maestro Itzak Perlman, the late Jazz/Swing violinist Stephane Grapelli, Celtic fiddlers Natalie McMaster and Richard Wood. The artist from whom he draws most inspiration is the late Martyn Bennett, a multi-talented, modern Celtic musician/composer. (Martyn passed away at age 33 in January 2005.)
As Alex continues to expand his music genres, perhaps inventing one or two along the way, he will share his skills both in playing and in composing/improvising with his students through a fun and fulfilling learning experience.