Siyu Zhang is currently a tenured violinist with the Jacksonville Symphony in Florida. Born in Changchun, China, in 1993, she began her violin studies at age five with Liu Yi. Ms. Zhang attended the Middle School affiliated with the Central Conservatory in Beijing. She subsequently continued her studies as a full scholarship student at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, graduating with distinction in 2016 with a Bachelor of Music Degree. In 2017, Ms. Zhang continued her musical education at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Following two years of intensive studies with renowned violinist Kathleen Winkler, Ms. Zhang graduated in 2019 with a Master of Music Degree.
Consistently recognized for the excellence of her performances, Ms. Zhang was the winner of the 2009 Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition in Italy. She has played in concerts and recitals in many Chinese cities including Beijing, Harbin and Dalian, in addition to appearing on Chinese television. In 2017, she premiered the Sunshine Violin Concerto with the Changying Symphony.
In 2018, Ms. Zhang was selected as one of six Zubin Mehta Fellows eligible to participate in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy where she performed with Philharmonic musicians in concerts at Lincoln Center under the baton of Pittsburgh Symphony Music Director, Manfred Honeck and in chamber music recitals at Manhattan’s Merkin Hall. In 2019, during her final semester at the Shepherd School of Music, Ms. Zhang won the honor of playing the Plinio Michette Violin of Savona, made in Turin, Italy, in 1924, on which she performed the violin solo from Stravinsky’s Puccinela Suite with the Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Larry Rachleff. She also played the inaugural concert celebrating the recent donation of the valuable instrument to the Shepherd School of Music. In November 2019, she performed Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Brahms’ Concerto No. 1, featuring noted pianist Emanuel Ax, with the Atlanta Symphony under the direction of Robert Spano.
Ms. Zhang was awarded fellowships to the Music Academy of the West, Spoleto, Aspen, Texas and Pacific music festivals. As an orchestral player, Ms. Zhang was appointed Concertmaster and Principal Second Violin for several events at these festivals.
Ms. Zhang is also active as a chamber musician with an extensive performance history. In 2012, she was chosen to play in Gunter Pichler’s master classes in Beijing at the Beijing Concert Hall. At the 2019 Aspen Music Festival, Ms. Zhang was invited to perform with faculty and guest musicians David Halen, Chad Hopes, James Dunham, Timothy Ridout and Timothy Pitts in the festival’s weekly chamber music series.
Ms. Zhang is active as a substitute violinist with the Houston Symphony, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera, Atlanta Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony and the Detroit Symphony, in addition to her current position with the Jacksonville Symphony.