“Such a combination of enchanting, sensitive lyricism and hypnotizing forcefulness is a phenomenon encountered very rarely.” –Ury Eppstein, The Jerusalem Post
Since his gold medal win at the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2009, 24-year-old Chinese pianist Haochen Zhang has captivated audiences in the United States, Europe, and Asia with a unique combination of deep musical sensitivity, fearless imagination, and spectacular virtuosity. Haochen Zhang’s debut at the BBC Proms 2014 received rave reviews for his impressive precision, expressive and delicate playing, with Ivan Hewitt, from The Telegraph saying ‘He made the Allegretto dance with Mendelssohnian lightness and Lisztian diablerie, and played the melody of the Quasi Adagio with melting softness.’
His return to Fort Worth as part of the 2010–2011 Cliburn Concerts series was lauded by the Dallas Morning News as “the kind of program you’d expect from a seasoned master, served up with dazzling virtuosity where wanted and astonishing sophistication elsewhere” and hailed as one of the top 10 performances of 2010 by both the Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. His Boston debut under the auspices of the Celebrity Series met with high praise by audiences and critics, making the year-end lists as part of the Boston Phoenix’s top 10 classical music stories of the year. Boston Globe critic Matthew Guerrieri remarked that Mr. Zhang displayed “poetic temperament as much as technical power… [he is] a pianist with ample reserves of power whose imagination seems nonetheless most kindled by subtle delicacy.” In April 2013, Haochen made his debut in Munich with the Munich Philharmonic under the baton of the late maestro Lorin Maazel prior to a sold out four-city tour of China.
A passionate and insightful programmer, Mr. Zhang continues to cultivate his reputation through major performances and debuts every year. Highlights of the 14/15 season include return invitations to Pacific Symphony, La Roque d’Antheron Festival in France, recitals in Paris, Tokyo and Beijing among others, as well as debut with the LA Philharmonic with Xian Zhang, the Warsaw Philharmonic with Jerzy Semkow and Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbücken with Myung-Whun Chung. In spring 2015 Haochen will be the soloist for a tour with the NDR Hamburg and Thomas Hengelbrock in Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai.
Mr. Zhang is also an avid chamber musician, collaborating with such colleagues as the Shanghai String Quartet and is frequently invited by chamber music festivals in the US.
In past seasons, he has performed with orchestras such as The Philadelphia Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, London Philharmonic, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic. A prolific recitalist, in the U.S. Mr. Zhang has performed at Spivey Hall, La Jolla Music Society, Celebrity Series of Boston, CU Artist Series, Cliburn Concerts, Krannert Center, Wolf Trap Discovery Series, Lied Center of Kansas and UVM Lane Series, among others. International tours have taken him to cities including Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Dresden, Rome, Tivoli, Verbier, Montpellier, Helsingborg, Bogota and Belgrade.
Mr. Zhang’s Cliburn Competition performances were released to critical acclaim by Harmonia Mundi in 2009. He is also featured in Peter Rosen’s award-winning documentary chronicling the 2009 Cliburn Competition, A Surprise in Texas. His complete competition performances are available on www.cliburn.tv.
Mr. Zhang is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied under Gary Graffman. He was previously trained at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Shenzhen Arts School, where he was admitted in 2001 at the age of 11 to study with Professor Dan Zhaoyi.