In recent seasons, pianist Zhang Zuo (“Zee Zee”) has appeared with the BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Belgian National Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, among others. She has worked with leading conductors including Paavo Jarvi, Marin Alsop and Yan Pascal Totellier and has appeared at some of the top festivals, such as the BBC Proms, Ravinia Festival in the United States and the Beethoven Festival in Poland. Zee Zee has also had success with a series of solo recitals at notable halls around the world, including the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Lincoln Center in New York, London’s Wigmore Hall and De Doelen in Rotterdam.
An imaginative and electrifying performer, 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 leading Chinese orchestras with whom she retains a close link – the 16/17 season sees her as the Artist in Residence with the Shenzen Symphony Orchestra touring Europe. 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 in America, and the Krainev International Piano Competition in Ukraine; 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.
2015-16 marked the final season of Zee Zee’s two-year residency with the BBC’s flagship New Generation Artists program. During her residency, she gave a number of orchestral concerts and recitals in London and around Great Britain. As an NGA artist, she has appeared with the BBC Philharmonic and BBC Ulster Orchestra with whom she performed a live, televised concert for the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall. She also debuted with the Warsaw Philharmonic, performed the Liszt Totentanz and Beethoven 1st Concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra, and performed the Beethoven 1st Concerto with Paavo Jarvi in Parnu, Estonia, at the Jarvi family festival. She also performed with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Charles Dutoit.
Zee Zee has been 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).
Aside from her solo career, Zee Zee is a passionate chamber musician and has recently recorded her first album for Deutsche Grammophon with colleagues Esther Yoo and Narek Hakhnazaryan.