An imaginative and electrifying performer, Zhang Zuo (“Zee Zee”) is unique among the young generation of pianists. Described as “full of enthusiasm and glamour, radiating the vigor of youth” (Chinese Gramophone), her interpretations and communicative abilities have been praised as “taking us to another reality... bright, expressive and moving to the extreme” (Belgischer Rundfunk), while her creative maturity has been hailed as “a powerful, passionate and compelling representation of pure artistry” (Los Angeles Times).
The 17/18 season sees Zee Zee’s debut with the San Francisco Symphony (Xian Zhang), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (Martin Yates), Sinfonieorchester Basel (Michał Nesterowicz) and Estonian National Symphony (Neeme Järvi). She appears with the Colorado, Pasadena, Tuscon and Jacksonville symphony orchestras, and gives recitals at the Vancouver Recital Society and Shanghai Symphony Chamber Hall. A passionate chamber musician, she also performs with the Z.E.N. Trio, alongside violinist Esther Yoo and cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, including in recitals at Hong Kong’s Premiere Performances and Liverpool’s St. George’s Hall and performances with the Shenzhen Symphony and Hangzhou Philharmonic. In September Deutsche Grammophon releases their first album.
“Zhang Zuo is the one of the most outstanding and passionate pianistic talents I have come across." — Maestro Paavo Järvi
Zee Zee regularly works with some of today’s leading conductors, including Paavo Järvi, Marin Alsop, Yan Pascal Totellier and Charles Dutoit. She has performed with leading orchestras, such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Belgian National Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and appeared at the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, Pärnu Music Festival and the Ravinia Festival. She has also given a number of notable recitals, including at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Lincoln Center in New York, Wigmore Hall in London and De Doelen in Rotterdam. The 16/17 season saw her as the Artist in Residence with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, including on its European tour, and 15/16 marked her final season as a BBC New Generation Artist. In 2014 she gave a live, televised performance at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms.
Zee Zee began her musical training in Germany at the age of five. Upon returning to her native China, she became one of the most sought after young artists in the nation, collaborating with the leading Chinese orchestras, with whom she retains a close link. Having completed her piano studies with Dan Zhao Yi at the Shenzhen Arts School, Zee Zee was invited to continue her artistic development under the mentorship of Nelita True at the Eastman School of Music and Yoheved Kaplinsky and Robert McDonald at The Juilliard School, where she won the coveted Petschek Piano Award. Zee Zee was awarded first prizes at China's 1st International Piano Concerto Competition, the Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition and the Krainev International Piano Competition. She was also a prizewinner at the 2013 Queen Elizabeth Competition. She has studied at the Peabody Institute with Leon Fleisher, and continues to receive guidance from Alfred Brendel.
“The highlight of the evening was her Tchaikovsky Concerto. She manages to make beautiful colors to create tension, but also represent the most tender sides of this otherwise very powerful concerto. Her fine dialogue with the solo cellist of the National Orchestra in the slow movement you will not soon forget: A small smile flitted both cheeks. The long-lasting applause after the performance was more than deserved." — Belgischer Rundfunk, May 28, 2013