Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes Interviewed on CNN as a prominent woman conductor, Marietta Cheng is the Conductor Laureate of the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, one of America's outstanding professional symphony orchestras. Under her direction, the orchestra reviews were overwhelmingly positive: "If you weren't there, I send you my sympathy," "an unforgettable experience…" and "run, not walk, to get your tickets…" She served as Music Director and Conductor of the OSFL from its creation until May of 2008. From 1986 to 1995, Cheng was Conductor of the Corning Philharmonic.
Ms. Cheng is Professor of Music and Conductor at Colgate University and has been chair of the Music Department for nine years. The Colgate University Orchestra, under her baton, is one of the best liberal arts college orchestras in the country. Cheng has appeared as guest conductor of the Chatauqua Symphony Orchestra and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic.
As a choral conductor, Marietta Cheng served four years on the conducting faculty of the Aspen Music Festival where she taught conducting, oversaw choral placement, and prepared choruses for musical luminaries including Robert Shaw, Jorge Mester, Fiora Contino, and John Nelson. Cheng's was also the Conductor of the Colgate University Chorus and Chamber Singers and the Syracuse Vocal Ensemble. All told, Cheng has four European tours and four recordings to her credit.
As a pianist, she has been a soloist with the Boston Pops orchestra under Arthur Fiedler. She performs chamber music frequently, having often collaborated with the Manhattan String Quartet, the Southern Tier Chamber Players, and at Colgate University.
Ms. Cheng has been a national spokesman for issues on women. Her appearance on CNN focused on her role as a woman conductor. In addition, she has written many articles on women in music, one which appeared in the Op/Ed Page of the New York Times, April 19, 1997; another appeared in Harmony, Forum of the Symphony Orchestra Institute; others have appeared in major urban papers across the United States. She has given numerous radio interviews and in 1997, she was chosen as one of a unique group of one hundred women leaders from across the U.S. to add her voice to Lifetime Television's National Summit on Women in the 21st Century.
Ms. Cheng's university positions include Conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra at Binghamton University and Associate Professor of Music and Conductor of the orchestral and choral programs at Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges. She is an active lecturer, specializing in composers of the romantic period. In 1998, she was the guest lecturer at Carnegie Hall for a Teachers' Symposium on Tchaikovsky.
She has conducted 28 concerts for the All-State programs of the Music Educators National Conference. Among them are the annual festivals for the All-Eastern Orchestra, the Pennsylvania All-State Orchestra, the New York State String Orchestra, the Pennsylvania All-State Chorus, and the New York State Women's Chorus. Ms. Cheng has conducted 21 children's concerts for more than 17,000 public school children in New York State.
"She is a trailblazer and role model… She has done wonders. How fortunate we are to be blessed with the multi-talented Marietta Cheng." (The Leader, Corning, NY)
Ms. Cheng holds degrees from Smith College and the New England Conservatory of Music.