Nancy Zhou


Lauded as one of today's probing musical voices infused with searing virtuosity, Nancy Zhou is the winner of the 2018 Shanghai Isaac Stern Violin Competition. With a robust online presence that seeks to invigorate appreciation for the art and science of the violin, her thoughtful musicianship resonates with a global audience in such a way that brings her on stage with leading orchestras around the world.

Making her orchestral debut at the age of 13 with her hometown orchestra, the San Antonio Symphony, Nancy went on to collaborate with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Munich Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, among others. She has collaborated with conductors such as Jaap van Zweden, Sakari Oramo, Peter Oundjian, Eun Sun Kim, Christoph Poppen, Jean-Jacques Kantorow, Michael Stern, Darrell Ang, Jurjen Hempel, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, and Ken-David Masur.

Alongside projects undertaken as a soloist, Nancy holds interest in chamber music and providing guidance to young musicians. As a collaborator, she has performed at the Verbier Festival, Ravinia Festival, Tongyeong Music Festival, Festpiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Festival de Coimbra, the Marvão Festival, and the Paganini Genova Festival. In 2017, she was invited by the Encore Chamber Music Festival to serve as guest artist and faculty member. She is a regular guest educator at summer festivals, holding masterclasses at various institutions and conducting private classes. Since the spring of 2020, Nancy devotes time to a private online studio, teaching a number of students across the globe and presenting public group classes on fundamental training and cultivating mindful awareness.

The past seasons, Nancy has endeavored to explore works outside the traditional oeuvre. In collaboration with the New Jersey Symphony and conductor Xian Zhang, she presented Zhao Jiping's first violin concerto at Alice Tully Hall, as well as gave the US premiere of Unsuk Chin's "Gran Cadenza" for two solo violins with Anne-Sophie Mutter across the US. This season Nancy tours China performing concerti in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Hohhot and Kunming. She will perform Chen Qigang's "La joie de la souffrance" with the Rogue Valley Symphony and embark on a collaborative project with Vivian Fung, commissioning the Canadian-born Chinese composer to write a work for solo violin and electronics so as to explore the intersection of the violinist's personal family oral history, folk minority culture, and, indeed, music.

Born in Texas to Chinese immigrant parents, Nancy began the violin under the guidance of her father. She went on to study with Miriam Fried at the New England Conservatory while pursuing her interest in literature at Harvard University. Additionally, she is an Associated Artist of the Queen Elisabeth Chapel, Professor of Violin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and is Artist-in-Residence of the Santa Cruz Symphony.


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