Young actor and classical pianist picks up rotary award

Young actor and classical pianist picks up rotary award

Francis Batt

Young actor and classical pianist picks up rotary award

A young classical pianist who swapped a budding acting career for music has won the Rotary Young Musician Final in Truro.

Robert Cheung, 15, of Bears Rails Park, Old Windsor, won the competition on May 3 with his performance of Liszt's Liebestraum and Aaron Copeland's the Cat and the Mouse - beating off entrants from across the country.

He was sponsored by Ascot Rotary Club.

If Robert seems a bit familiar you may have seen him in an episode of Casualty playing an asthmatic nurse, or as a young chess champion on the sitcom Outnumbered.

But mum Theresa, 49, said: "Acting has definitely fallen by the wayside now. It began when we suggested piano lessons because we had heard they help memory and can improve school work."

Robert said: "I started normally, just having fun - not practising much. Then sometimes changed."

Now he is at the keyboard for five hours a day and has a cupboard full of trophies. He has performed at venues all over the area including the Wycombe Swan in High Wycombe and Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Maidenhead. 

He has also been offered places at the Royal College and the Royal Academy as well as a scholarship to the Purcell School of Music.

But he has settled instead for a home education under the musical tutorage of his teacher Doctor Nigel Wilkinson.

He said: "I always think that hard work pays off but it's great to win things. I have dreams of playing at the Albert Hall. I want to go as far as I can."

Robert lives with his mum, dad Ray, 62 - a retired finance controller and sister Ruthie, 14.

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