Huihui Cheng studied composition with Guoping Jia at the Central Conservatory of Music Beijing, Caspar Johannes Walter, Marco Stroppa and Martin Schüttler as well as Piet Mayer (electronic music) at the State College of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart. In 2015-16 she attended the IRCAM Composition Cursus in Paris, studying with Héctor Parra (composition) and Grégoire Lorieux (electronics).
She was fellow of the Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg, Schloss Wiepersdorf, Künstlerhaus Schöppingen in Germany; Camargo Foundation; Royaumont Foundation in France; and German Academy Villa Massimo-Casa Baldi in Italy. She has also attended academies of the SWR Vocal Ensemble and the Akademie Musiktheater Heute. In 2011 she won the first prize at the International Isang Yun Competition, and in 2016 she won the ZKM Giga-Hertz Production Prize, with her work “Me Du Ça.” A portrait DVD with her works will be published in the series Edition Contemporary Music of the label Wergo in 2020.
Her works have been performed in the Beijing Modern Music Festival, Berlin Chinese CULTURE Festival, Munich Biennale, Tongyeong International Music Festival in Korea, Donaueschinger Musiktage “Next Generation,” Wien Modern Festival, ECLAT Festival Stuttgart, Rainy Days Festival Luxemburg.
Her works include voice, instruments, electronics and theatrical concepts. In her piece “Me Du Ça” for soprano and live electronic, she explores a combination of visual elements/costume as an extended instrument to create the mythical figure Medusa. In the piece “Messenger” for String-piano – an instrument/installation of her invention – nylon strings are attached to an upright piano’s strings and to the pianist’s costume.
She seeks to extend the expressive potentials of music through visual and theatrical elements, the use of objects/installations, randomized operations and electronics.