John Cheek is a pianist who has distinguished himself as top prize-winner in a number of important national and international music competitions sponsored by the National Society of Arts and Letters and the American Music Scholarship Association. He has the distinction of being the highest-ranking American in the 1986 Franz Liszt International Piano Competition, and has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in Alice Tully Hall, Weill Hall, Town Hall, Columbia University, and at many of the nation’s universities and colleges.
He has a particular interest in American music and was a founding member of the Omni Ensemble, an electro-acoustic chamber group who were frequent guests on John Schaeffer’s “New Sounds” (WNYC) and who received a commissioning grant from Reader’s Digest. He has been a recital partner with members of such ensembles as the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and with another John Cheek, the long-time baritone-bass at the Metropolitan Opera.
John Cheek is also a Fulbright Scholar, having performed and taught American music at the Yerevan State Conservatory in Yerevan, Armenia.
He has three solo commercial releases: Circa 1980 on JRI, solo works by Donald Martino and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson. His recording, The 99 Beautiful Names of God, was released in fall 2009 on Albany Records and received a 5-star rating at Amazon.com. Additionally it also received an excellent review in Fanfare magazine, the premier classical music magazine in the U.S. Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s Sonata #3 received it’s premier recording by John in 2011 and was released in August 2012 on JRI recordings.
John Cheek is a professor of music at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC. He is also a long-time faculty member at the Interlochen Arts Center, the nation’s oldest camp for training young musicians.
John Cheek, Piano/Synthesizer
The OMNI Ensemble is pleased to welcome back John Cheek as our keyboard player. John is a founding member The OMNI Ensemble and one of the great classical music pianists as well
as a great improviser in the electronic medium.