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Haochen Zhang


In June 2009, at the age of 19, Haochen Zhang won the Gold Medal in the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the first Asian to win such an honor and one of the youngest Gold Medalists in the history of this competition.

Scroll down for full bio and 2013 Festival performances below

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Be sure to hear all of Haochen Zhang’s 2013 Festival performances listed below

Tuesday, August 6, 12:00 PM at St. Francis Auditorium
Shanghai Quartet Plays Dvořák

Wednesday, August 7, 7:30 PM at Simms Auditorium/Albuquerque Academy
Brahms & Beethoven Strings

Thursday, August 8, 12:00 PM at St. Francis Auditorium
Dvořák – Piano Quartet

Thursday, August 8, 6:00 PM at St. Francis Auditorium
Brahms & Beethoven Strings

Sunday, August 11, 6:00 PM at The Lensic Performing Arts Center
Lush Chausson & Fairy Tales

“Such a combination of enchanting, sensitive lyricism and hypnotizing forcefulness is a phenomenon encountered very rarely.” – Ury Eppstein, The Jerusalem Post

Since his gold medal win at the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2009, 21-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 with 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 the San Francisco and Fort Worth symphony orchestras; 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 Symphony, Singapore Symphony 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 Harmonia 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 DVD release and subsequently re-released.

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 improvises pop music. In his leisure time he excels at ping pong and snooker. Born in Shanghai, Haochen Zhang now makes his home in Philadelphia.