Since her first piano recital at age 8, Zélia Chueke has been developing her career in the United States, Europe and South America - almost 200 performances including solo and chamber music recitals, concerts with orchestras, participation in contemporary music festivals, lectures and recordings for Radio and TV Broadcasting, always combining works of the traditional repertoire and contemporary works. Thanks to her commitment as performer of new music, she had many works dedicated to her by composers from all over the world. Her CD released in 2002 includes works by Debussy and Brahms www.cdmail.fr. Upcoming CD includes 20th and 21st century Brazilian piano music.
DMA in Piano Performance from the University of Miami School of Music, with Academic Merit, Master of Music from The Mannes College of Music New York both with full scholarship, and Bachelor in Piano from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Summa Cum Laude, Dr. Chueke studied with Grant Johannesen in New York, Hans Graf in Vienna, and Homero Magalhães in Rio, having received coaching from legendary conductor Sergiu Celibidache, who honored her with a "Bravo!" after listening to her performance of Mozart's Fantasy in C minor, during one of his seminars on phenomenology at the famous Rencontres Musicales à Cluny in France, 1986.
After her debut in Vienna (Bechstein Saal,1987), Zelia Chueke was invited by the Institute Français de Vienne to perform a recital fully dedicated to Debussy and Brazilian composers (Salon Rouge du Palais Calm Gallas,1989). This recital launched similar performances in prestigious concert venues in Rio de Janeiro (Salão Dourado – Forum-UFRJ, 1991), São Paulo (MASP- Museum of Modern Arts, 1992), New York (New York Public Library Concert series - Donnell Library Auditorium, 1997 & Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, 2010), Miami (Gusman Concert Hall, 1997), Paris (Mairie du 3ème, Salle de Marriage 2000). She made her debut in Washington in 1997 at the Brazil-America Institute.
Due to her collaboration with the International Chamber Orchestra, Zélia Chueke presented concerts exploring the piano in different roles. The same program would include works for piano solo, piano and orchestra or as member of the orchestra and chamber music for various instrumentations.
Her unique project Sports et Divertissements with works by Erik Satie and commissioned works by composers of different nationalities, was premiered in 1997 in Steinway Hall New York and performed in prestigious venues and events such as LeFrak Concert Hall, NY and Festival Miami. In this project, she made the US premier of Satie's cabaret songs which had just been published by Editions Salabert.
In 2002 she performed Beethoven Piano Concerto n.4 with the Alhambra Orchestra , under the conducting of Isaac Chueke celebrating the day of the European Community on May 9th and La Fête de la Musique on June 16th at the Lincoln Theater, under the sponsor of the French Consulate in Miami which, acknowledging her commitment to French Culture, invited her to move to France with her husband, maestro Isaac Chueke, bestowed in the same year Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
Besides her activities as pianist, Zélia Chueke was Professor of Music in the two major universities of Florida: University of Miami (1997-2000) and University of Florida-New World School of the Arts (2000-2002), as well as Music Director of the Notes, Strokes and Movement concert series at the Lowe Art Museum and of the University of Miami Dance Program. In 1999 she was elected member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Honor Society.
Having lived in Paris between 2002 e 2004, Dr. Chueke works on different projects as permanent researcher with the Observatoire Musical Français, Université Paris-Sorbonne, Paris IV. Her Doctoral dissertation "Stages of Listening During Preparation and Execution of a Piano Performance," was translated to French – Série de l’OMF Didactique de la Musique, n°30 and she is responsible for various events and publications such as Brésil musical and Le piano brésilien, respectively in 2005 and 2008 (Paris : OMF, distr. Zurfluh) and most recently, Brésilien Musicologique, Série Langues Musicologique, n° 6. Paris: OMF, 2010, as well as a recent convention signed between Paris IV and the Federal University of Paraná, where she is Professor of Music since 2005, member of the permanent faculty. At this institution, she teaches Ear Training, Analysis, Piano Literature and Practicing of Performance for undergraduate students, being responsible for the Group Piano Program which she implemented in 2005, as well as Analysis for Performers and Studies and Practice of Contemporary music for graduate students, being in charge of the research group Musica20e21 (www.musica20e21.ufpr.br ) which she founded in 2007.
"I am sure that Frau Marques (Chueke) has a beautiful career in front of her, due to her strong personality and subtle musicality." Hans Graf, pianist - Vienna.
"Zelia Chueke is a gifted pianist on several levels; technically, musically and intellectually....a pleasure to work with....a most interesting musician." Grant Johannesen, pianist - New York.
"I have listened to a recording of her rendition of the Brahms Opus 116 piano pieces, which I found to be technically brilliant and stylistically exquisite." L. Michael Griffel, Professor, Juilliard School, New York, Chair of the Music History Department.
"Brava...congratulations on an outstanding achievement....unusually gifted musician...brings extraordinary talent to the concert platform as well as probing mind and a genuine love of music." Arbie Orenstein, author of Ravel, Man and Musician (Dover) – Professor, Aaron Copland School of Music, CUNY.
“[…]The second half began with an ambitious and difficult Sonata for Piano by Mário Ficarelli (São Paulo, 1935-), in its world premiere. Though the first two movements are marked Moderato and Lento, respectively, there is little repose here, with the first movement noisy, and a substantial part of the second movement a faster fugato. Ficarelli’s materials drawn on “Brazilian” idioms on occasion, and the overall impression is that of an incredible level of musical detail crammed into every moment - in a sense, a “baroque” or even “rococo” modernism. The sonata received a virtuoso and bravura performance from Zélia Chueke.” Biennial Festival of Brazilian Contemporary Music 2005 by Tom Moore. http://www.brazilmax.com/news5.cfm/tborigem/fe_music/id/1
« […] as a performer, her career reveals an extreme sensibility regarding traditional repertoire at the same time that she masters the challenges of contemporary works. Her intellectual inquietude and the dynamic of her life in Europe and in the US are part of the cultural universe of this Brazilian artist. [...] the strongest characteristics towards all the artistic and academic projects she develops are correctness and commitment.»] Ricardo Tacuchian, conductor, composer, President of the Brazilian Music Academy. www.abmusica.org.br