Xiangyu Zhao


Coming from China, Mr. Xiangyu Zhao started to learn piano at the age of four and came to the United States in 2008. Mr. Zhao received his Bachelor of Music at the University of Northern Colorado in 2013, studying with Dr. Lei Weng. During his time in the United States, Mr. Zhao has earned several awards from Steinway music piano concerto competition in Colorado, Jefferson City Symphony Orchestra Competition, the Concerto/Aria Competition at UMKC, and was the winner of the MTNA Young Artist Piano Competition in Missouri in 2017. He is the alternate winner of the 2016 Chancellor’s Concerto Competition and performed with UMKC orchestra in Helzberg Hall in April 2017 and the MTNA Young Artist Piano Competition in the West Central region. Mr. Zhao was awarded the Undergraduate Academic Excellence Award from the international department at the University of Northern Colorado, and was selected to play in the 29th gala concert as the only solo performer. He was also interviewed by UNC’s school newspaper The Mirror for his freshman recital. Besides his study at school, Mr. Zhao participated in several music festivals, including the International Keyboard and Institute & Festival at Mannes, Montecito International Music Festival, and 2018 &2019 Gijón International Piano Festival where he gave a whole concert in Candás, Spain. He has taken master classes with outstanding professors and artists, including Olga Kern, Jerome Rose, Stanislav Ioudenitch, Norman Krieger, Logan Skelton, Peter Takács, and Frank Weinstock. Mr. Zhao has also selected as one performer of the UMKC piano department to give a group presentation at the 2015 MTNA National Conference in Las Vegas. In addition to his piano study, Mr. Zhao has studied composition with the worldly well-known composer Dr. Chen Yi since 2013. He has performed his own music and several works by composition students, faculty members in Composers’ Guild and Music Nova concerts at UMKC. He has also performed piano works by guest artists such as Lowell Liebermann and Tania León and played for the composers in person. He held a full composition recital with his own music in May 2017, including a song cycle based on Chinese poems and a seven-movement oboe quartet. Studying piano with Dr. Robert Weirich, Mr. Zhao finished his fourth year of doctoral study at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance and is now working on his doctoral projects, including a recording of the entire Transcendental Études by Franz Liszt and a score edition of Quatre Études, Op. 7 by Igor Stravinsky.

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