Stephen Chun Tao Cheng
1923 - 2012
Stephen Chun-Tao Cheng, a native from Shanghai, China, passed away on September 18, 2012 in New York City, his home for over the last 60 years. He was an acclaimed international singer, actor, composer, and creator of the Tao of Voice, an East-West approach to singing. He devoted his life to the performing arts, appearing in concerts worldwide as well as numerous appearances in theater, film, and commercials. His legacy includes his book, The Tao of Voice, translated in many languages as well as his record, The Flower Drum & Other Chinese Folk Songs. Born and raised in China and educated in the United States, he became a renowned teacher of the performing arts. He inspired many singers and vocal artists with his unique artistry and approach. He will be missed by his five children, Pascal, Danielle, Olivier, Philippe, and Lydia and his grandchildren, Julian, Max, Sasha, Sophie, and Gabriel. A memorial service is being planned for the beginning of November in New York City. If you would like to contact our family, please send an email to [email protected]
Published by New York Times from Sep. 19 to Sep. 20, 2012.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

3 Entries
I felt honored to be present at the Memorial on Saturday. It was a very special moment to commemorate the extraordinarily fruitful lives of Stephen and Denise and feel them together again.

Your father was a presence in my life for as long as I can remember. I recall with great fondness childhood days playing with Pascal on the carpet in your living room, in a most spirited home full of kids and music, held together by the kind, soft presence of your wonderful mother. And I recall the many exchanges with your father over the years, walking up or down our block or in the elevator of our building, where he conveyed his remarkable artistic passions and amazingly positive outlook on life.

He was truly one of a kind. A free spirit to the core, yet one who embraced the stability of home, family, community. He managed to unite what for others would be a dichotomy: freedom and supreme individuality on the one hand, respect for structure and convention on the other. He had that unfailing, absolutely ageless exhuberance towards life and total commitment to giving one's full energy to everything one did.

Your father showed we are masters of our spirits which gives us the best chance to live a fruitful, meaningful and giving life. He certainly lived such a life. Seeing the five of you at the front of the room, seeing the pictures on the wall, documenting his artistic and personal achievements, feeling the palpable love amongst those gathered - all these together represented a HUGE testament to the success of this man's life.

Yesterday's memorial was just him: warm, human, passion-filled, moving, graceful, elegant, artistic, family- and community- oriented. . . Happy. I found myself often smiling during our time together yesterday. I tried to suppress the feeling as it seemed inappropriate to smile at a Memorial. But I couldn't. How can one not smile, how can one not feel happiness in the presence of Stephen Cheng and the world he created? That's what he did to people. And I could not help but feel his presence in that room yesterday!

Thank you for sharing him with us again.
Haig Nalbantian
December 10, 2012
Françoise et Pierre Boily
Françoise Lagasse Boily
October 31, 2012
Dear Pascal, Danielle, Olivier, Philippe, and Lydia,

Lia told me your father recently passed away, and I just read his obituary in The Times. Even though he lived a long life, it is still difficult to lose a parent.

I remember visiting the Riverside Drive apartment and speaking with your father in the 80's. He was so passionate about music. -- In 2009, I spent two weeks in China as a participant in the Sino-American Seminar in Educational Leadership sponsored by the Asian Studies Outreach Program at the University of Vermont. My favorite city was Shanghai. How it has changed since your father left. There is so much new construction that the joke is the national bird is the crane. -- I particularly appreciated the food, and I remember your father ate mostly Chinese food.

My thoughts are with you.

Stefanie Cravedi
September 30, 2012
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 results