Violinist and recording artist Qian Zhou is Head of Strings and Associate Professor of Violin at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.
Born in Hangzhou, China, Zhou had her early training at the Shanghai Conservatory, winning first prize in the China National Competition in 1984. In 1985, she went to the United States where she completed her studies with Berl Senofsky at the Peabody Conservatory.
At the age of only 18, Zhou received instant world-wide recognition with her brilliant triumph at the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris, breaking all precedent in the competition's 50-year history by winning the First Grand Prize and all five major prizes. Her victory and the international attention it drew enabled her immediate access to the major halls and performing opportunities around the globe.
For more than twenty years, she has been a frequent recitalist and soloist with orchestras in Europe, United States, Asia and Africa. Past engagements include concerts with the Baltimore Symphony and Chamber, Beijing Central Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish, Bournemouth Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, National Orchestra of Ile de France, New Japan Philharmonic , Osaka Symphony, Rome Symphony, Russian Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, Spanish National, Taipei Symphony and the Vienna Chamber Orchestras amongst others while recital highlights include performances at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Centre, Royal Festival Hall, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and the Vienna Concert Hall.
While the Washington Post praised "her expressive talents, fluid phrases and delicate, at times almost weeping, vibrato" Le Figaro commended her "great violin playing", acknowledging her as "a very great artist", and La Nazione in Florence noted "her performance was an inspired force...accompanied by a technical polish, communicative capacity, and an expressive candor that was absolutely enchanting." After a performance at the Evian Festival under Rostropovich, the Dauphine Libere offered "she is a poet in the etymological sense: one who creates beauty and happiness." Zhou's seven CDs with the Naxos and Marco Polo labels have also drawn praise of the highest calibre. Her recording of the Beethoven concerto was described by Henry Roth in The Strad as "technically impeccable... burnished with beautifully-focused tone, a vibrato that spans the full gamut of colour, and an astute sense of pacing, all replete with sensitive nuances. " He continued "her phrasing is breath-taking; not a note is 'wasted' or ignored, all delivered with a rare nobility of spirit". Her Glazunov concerto was perceived as "extraordinary: full-blooded, suave and sophisticated, yet uncommonly thoughtful." While her recordings of the complete Dvorak works for violin and piano were praised as "strikingly confident, each note invested with glowing lyrical import."
Since 2003 when she moved to Singapore to become the founding Head of Strings at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, she has combined her very active performance career with a passion for teaching which has now received equivalent high-level endorsement to that of her playing. With students already achieving considerable international success in Europe, Asia, America and Australasia, she is in much demand world-wide for masterclasses and as a participant in international juries. Qian Zhou plays a 1757 J.B. Guadagnini, generously loaned by Mr and Mrs Rin Kei Mei.
During the 2009-10 season, she is scheduled to appear in Argentina, China, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, combining her enthusiasms and capacities as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and teacher.
Updated on 2/11/2011