Michele Cheng

Graduate Student in Music


Michele Cheng, a 1.5 generation Taiwanese American, is an interdisciplinary composer who intertwines diverse media such as music, experimental theatre, and puppetry to engage with social issues and cultural identities. Through a journalistic approach to interview and research, she develops creative work that shines light on underrepresented individuals and their narratives.

Her works have been performed at CCRMA (Stanford, US), ICMC (Santiago, CL), ISSTA (IE), SICMF (Seoul, KR), Sonorities (Belfast, UK), SEAMUS (US), NYCEMF (NYC, US), eavesdropping (London, UK), New Music Gathering (Portland, US), White Snake Project (Boston, US), Casa Obscura (Montréal, CA), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon (Dijon, France), National Theater and Concert Hall (Taipei, Taiwan), among others.

In 2020, she received National Sawdust's commission and was named a JACK Studio artist commissioned by the JACK Quartet. Current projects in 2021 include an intermedia work supported by the New Music USA Creator Development Fund; a residency with full scholarship from Atlantic Center for the Arts; and an essay commissioned by the American Composers Forum and I Care If You Listen for their "Casting Light" series.

As an improviser-performer, Michele plays multiple instruments and self-built electroacoustic devices and has shared the stage with artists from various disciplines. She is a co-founder of the experimental pop duet Meoark and fff, an interdisciplinary improv collective led by feminist media artists, and was a member at Stanford New Ensemble.

Dedicated to nurturing future innovators, she has worked with children to college students. She was a TK-3 music educator at public elementary schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, a graduate teaching assistant for School of the Arts and School of Education at the University of California, Irvine, and a teaching intern at Orange Coast College. She has also given guest talks at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Western Ontario, National Taiwan Normal University, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, and more.

Michele holds an M.F.A. in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology from the University of California, Irvine and a B.F.A. in Theory and Composition from National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan. She joins Cornell University as a DMA Composition fellow in Fall, 2021.