Dan Zhu

Praised as “an artist of affecting humility and beautiful tone production” (The Strad), Dan Zhu is widely recognised as one of the leading musicians of his generation, performing internationally in North America, Europe and Asia. His recent triumphant performance with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Music Festival received rave reviews from critics and was hailed as “truly brilliant, compelling, and polished”. He has appeared with world class orchestras under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach, Zubin Mehta, Krzysztof Penderecki, Philippe Entremont, Jacek Kaspszyk, Uroš Lajovic, Alexander Rahbari, Shao En, Carl St Clair, Muhai Tang, Ralf Weikert, Yu Long among many others, and has been invited to perform and give masterclasses at renowned festivals, such as the Tanglewood, Verbier, Kuhmo, Marlboro, Enescu, Schleswig-Holstein, Ravinia and Spoleto festivals, as well as Salzburg Festspiele and Festival Pablo Casals.

Zhu’s recent performance highlights include recitals with Christoph Eschenbach at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, with pianist Gerhard Oppitz at Enescu Festival, and with Paik Kun-woo worldwide; solo appearances with Zubin Mehta and the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, with Camerata Salzburg at the Salzburg Festspiele, with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Kimmel Center, recital at Verbier Festival, and touring China with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra; chamber music concerts at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées; K A Hartmann’s Concerto Funebre with Korean Chamber Orchestra at Seoul Arts Center; and the Chinese première of Bright Sheng’s Violin Concerto “Let Fly” with the Hong Kong Philharmonic under the baton of the composer

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

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 12, he entered the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where he studied with Huang Xiao-zhi. 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 début at the age of 18 with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. His mentors have included Ivry Gitlis, Gérard Poulet and Aaron Rosand. As recording artist, he has appeared on several international labels, such as BIS, Cascavelle, CPO, Naxos and ORF. His latest world première recordings include 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 masterclasses and lectures at Sibelius Academy, Princeton University, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the School of Fontainebleau.

Zhu has collaborated with leading composers of our time on concert stages and in recordings, including George Benjamin, György Kurtág, Krzysztof Penderecki, Gian Carlo Menotti, Wolfgang Rihm, Tan Dun and Ye Xiao-gang. He is also a dedicated member of the Nature Conservancy and the Antarctic Forum in support of environmental protection, having been on three expedition trips to the Antarctica, and is the first violinist in history to perform on the continent in 2013. Since 2021, he has been the Founder and Artistic Director of Festival Etruscan Bloom in Florence, Italy

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