Chinese-American violinist Nancy Zhou, emerging as one of today’s outstanding talents, is rapidly building an international profile after winning the inaugural Harbin International Violin Competition and the Shanghai Isaac Stern Violin Competition in 2018.
Highlights from the 2019-20 season include Ms. Zhou’s debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Festival, Kansas Symphony/Peter Oundjian, San Diego Symphony/Eun Sun Kim, IRIS Orchestra/Michael Stern, Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra/Lio Kuokman and Italy-based Padua Chamber Orchestra. Additionally, she will go on tour with Long Yu and the China Philharmonic in the winter of 2020. To conclude the year and celebrate the centennial of Isaac Stern, she will collaborate with the Osaka Philharmonic under the baton of David Stern.
The 2018-19 season saw Ms. Zhou performing with the Shanghai Symphony/Jaap van Zweden and the Sichuan Symphony/Darrell Ang, as well as making her debut in Poland with the Grammy award-winning Kalisz Philharmonic/Adam Klocek. To cap off 2019, Ms. Zhou made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York String Orchestra/Jaime Laredo.
From an early age, Ms. Zhou already gained experience by performing with an impressive list of orchestras. After making her debut in her hometown with the San Antonio Symphony at the age of 14, she went on to perform with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Munich Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, Tapiola Sinfonietta, St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Shenzhen Symphony, among others. Among the conductors with whom she has collaborated are Sakari Oramo, Christoph Poppen, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Jurjen Hempel, Muhai Tang, Sebastian Lang-Lassing and Ken-David Masur.
Alongside projects as a soloist, Ms. Zhou holds interest in chamber music and in providing guidance to young musicians. Since 2015 she regularly visits Taiwan to give masterclasses. In 2017 she was invited by the Encore Chamber Music Festival to serve as guest artist and faculty member. As a recitalist, she has visited the Verbier Festival, Ravinia Festival, Festpiele Mecklenburg-Vorpormmern, Festival de Coimbra and the Marvao Festival.
Born in Texas in 1993, Nancy Zhou began the violin at age four under the guidance of her father, who remained her teacher throughout her youth. She went on to study with Miriam Fried at the New England Conservatory while pursuing her interest in literature and earning a Bachelor’s of Arts at Harvard University. In 2008 Ms. Zhou caught the attention of Anne-Sophie Mutter, after which she received personal support and multiple performance opportunities across the globe. Since 2018 Ms. Zhou also holds the title of Associated Artist at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, where she previously worked with Augustin Dumay.
Currently, Ms. Zhou plays on a Joseph Guarneri violin from 1730-33 known as “Le Sphynx,” which has been generously loaned to her from a private sponsor.