Dan Zhu

Dan Zhu is widely recognized as one of the leading musicians of his generation on the international stage today, praised as “an artist of affecting humility and beautiful tone production” by The Strad magazine, performing internationally in North America, Europe, and Asia. His recent triumphant performance with the Boston Symphony at the Tanglewood Festival has been raved by the critics as “truly brilliant, compelling, and polished”. He has appeared with world class orchestras under the direction of Maestros Christoph Eschenbach, Zubin Mehta, Krzysztof Penderecki, Philippe Entremont, Jacek Kaspszyk, Uroš Lajovic, Alexander Rahbari, En Shao, Carl St.Clair, Muhai Tang, Ralf Weikert, Long Yu among many others, and has been invited to perform and give master classes at renowned festivals, such as Salzburg Festspiele, Tanglewood, Verbier, Kuhmo, Marlboro, Enescu, Schleiswig-Holstein, Prades-Casals, Ravinia, and Spoleto.

Dan Zhu’s recent seasons highlights of duo recitals with Christoph Eschenbach on Mozart and Beethoven sonatas at the Kennedy Center and at NCPA in Beijing; with pianist Gerhard Oppitz at Enescu Festival; with Kun Woo Paik on the complete Beethoven violin & piano sonata cycle worldwide; solo appearance includes with Zubin Mehta and the Orchestra Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; with Camerata Salzburg at the Salzburg Festspiele; with the Philadelphia Orchestra on Tan Dun’s concerto with the composer conducting the performance at Kimmel Center; Recital at Verbier Festival; Tchaikovsky violin concerto with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra touring in China; Chamber music series at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées; K.A.Hartmann “Concerto Funebre” with Korean Chamber Orchestra at Seoul Arts Center; China premiere of Bright Sheng’s violin concerto “Let Fly” with the composer conducting Hong Kong Philharmonic; Symphony Orchestras of Boston, Belgrade, Hong Kong, New York, Munich, Paris, Vancouver, etc.

As an active chamber musician, he has collaborated with pianists Philippe Entremont, Peter Frankl, Richard Goode, Lang Lang, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and other instrumentalists includes Joshua Bell, Henri Demarquette, Nobuko Imai, Mischa Maisky, Paul Meyer. His duo recitals with pianist Tzimon Barto in Hamburg was highly acclaimed by Die Welt as “distinctive dramaturgy of contrasts, crystalline tones with intensity and sensitivity”, this season’s recital with pianist Michel Dalberto was praised as “sovereignty and freedom of Dalberto’s piano playing responds to the fluent subtlety of Dan Zhu at his very ease in the score of constantly renewed imagination” by the Parisian press.

A native of Beijing, Zhu made his first public appearance at the age of nine, performing Mendelssohn’s violin concerto with the China Youth Chamber Orchestra. At age twelve he entered the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where he studied with Xiao-zhi Huang. Four years later he was awarded the Alexis Gregory Scholarship to study with Lucie Robert at Mannes College of Music in New York. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with Tchaikovsky violin concerto at the age of eighteen. His mentors have included Ivry Gitlis, Gerard Poulet, and Aaron Rosand. As recording artist, Dan Zhu has appeared on several international labels, such as BIS, Cascavelle, CPO, Naxos, ORF. His latest world premiere recordings of Boris Papandopulo’s violin concerto and Bright Sheng’s chamber music album “Northern Lights” with the composer on the piano. He has been invited to give master classes and lectures at Sibelius Academy, Princeton University, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Fontainebleau School.

Dan Zhu has collaborated with numbers of the leading composers of our time on concert stages and in recordings, including George Benjamin, Gyorgy Kurtag, Krzysztof Penderecki, the late Gian-Carlo Menotti, Wolfgang Rihm, Tan Dun, Bright Sheng, and Xiaogang Ye. He is also an dedicated member of the Nature Conservancy and the Antarctic Forum in support of the environmental protection, have been on three expedition trips to the Antarctica, and the first violinist in the history performed on the continent in 2013. Since 2021, he is the founder and artistic director of Festival Etruscan Bloom in Florence, Italy.