Since his gold medal win at the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2009, 22-year-old Chinese pianist Haochen Zhang has captivated audiences in the United States, Europe, and Asia with a unique combination of deep musical sensitivity, fearless imagination, and spectacular virtuosity. His return to Fort Worth as part of the 2010–2011 Cliburn Concerts series was lauded by the Dallas Morning News as “the kind of program you’d expect from a seasoned master, served up with dazzling virtuosity where wanted and astonishing sophistication elsewhere” and hailed among the top 10 performances of 2010 by both the Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. His Boston debut under the auspices of the Celebrity Series met with high praise by audiences and critics, making the year-end lists as part of the Boston Phoenix’s top 10 classical music stories of the year. Boston Globe critic Matthew Guerrieri remarked that Mr. Zhang displayed “poetic temperament as much as technical power… [he is] a pianist with ample reserves of power whose imagination seems nonetheless most kindled by subtle delicacy.”
A passionate and insightful programmer, Mr. Zhang continues to cultivate his reputation through major performances and debuts every year. Highlights of the 2011–2012 season include return engagements with San Francisco and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras; the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in celebration of their 75th anniversary; performances at the Kravis Center, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and Carmel Center for the Performing Arts; and a tour of Japan in October. He will make his Paris debut with a recital at the Louvre Museum and his Vienna debut with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra in the spring. An enthusiastic chamber musician, Mr. Zhang will perform with the Tokyo String Quartet in a special gala event for the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts and with the Shanghai Quartet as part of the Mountain Music Festival in the Berkshires.
In past seasons, he has performed with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic. He has traversed the United States for performances with such prestigious series as Spivey Hall, La Jolla Music Society, Celebrity Series of Boston, CU Artist Series, Cliburn Concerts, Krannert Center, Wolf Trap Discovery Series, Lied Center of Kansas, and UVM Lane Series. International tours have taken him to Beijing, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Rome, Tivoli, and Belgrade, among other cities.
Mr. Zhang’s Cliburn Competition performances of Stravinsky’s Trois mouvements de Pétrouchka; Chopin’s Twenty-Four Preludes, Op. 28; Mason Bates’ White Lies for Lomax; and Liszt’s Spanish Rhapsody were released to critical acclaim by harmonica mundi usa in 2009. He is also featured in Peter Rosen’s award-winning documentary chronicling the 2009 Cliburn Competition, A Surprise in Texas, which was sold out within two weeks of release and subsequently re-released. His complete competition performances are available on www.cliburn.tv.
Mr. Zhang has a wide-ranging intellectual curiosity that is nurtured through his continuing studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia under the guidance of Gary Graffman. He has previously trained at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Shenzhen Arts School, where he was admitted in 2001 at the age of 11 to study with Professor Dan Zhaoyi.
A voracious reader with an interest in a variety of subjects, including literature, science, and history, Mr. Zhang also writes poetry and enjoys painting.
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