Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto: Guest Artists cover

Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto: Guest Artists

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Pianist Zhang Zuo makes her Pacific Symphony debut performing Beethoven’s mighty Third Piano Concerto. The Los Angeles Times described the gifted young pianist (affectionately nicknamed “Zee Zee”) as “a powerful, passionate and compelling representation of pure artistry.” The concert opens with the captivating “Folk Songs for Orchestra” by Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo. Elgar’s intriguing “Enigma Variations” closes the program.
Preview Talk with Alan Chapman included.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.
Enjoy image magnification on our big screens throughout the concert for a closer look at the musicians!!
Zhang Zho hosts a multi-generational piano masterclass on March 22 in the intimate Samueli Theater. Tickets are just $10. Information and Tickets.





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Darrell Ang

Darrell Ang

Darrell Ang’s triumph at the 50th Besançon International Young Conductor’s Competition, where he took all three top awards—Grand Prize, Audience Prize and Orchestra Prize—launched his international career, leading to the music directorship of the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne and numerous guest conducting engagements with Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre National de Lyon, Orchestre Philharmonique du Strasbourg, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano “Giuseppe Verdi,” St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra and RTVE Symphony Orchestra Madrid, among others.

Three years later, Ang was selected to join the prestigious International Conductors' Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation and invited to take on residencies with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra. He is grateful to his mentors Vladimir Jurowski and Esa-Pekka Salonen for their invaluable advice and support.

In 2015, Ang made a triumphant debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic which led to an immediate reengagement in the 2015-16 season. The ambitious program included Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperi, Hindemith’s Concerto for Orchestra and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9, as well as the UK premiere of Wolf Totem, Tan Dun's latest concerto, which featured the orchestra's principal double bassist, Marcel Becker, as soloist.

In his native Singapore, Ang became the youngest associate conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra where he worked with Lan Shui for five years. He also served as the music director of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra, bringing the ensemble to the Young Euro Classic Festival at Konzerthaus in Berlin.

In 2010 Ang led the World Youth Olympic Games Orchestra in an internationally televised opening ceremony of the first World Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. As a guest conductor, he has worked with Asia’s top ensembles including the Hong Kong Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan. As the chief conductor of the NTSO Taiwan-China Youth Orchestra, Ang was at the heart of the initiative which brought together the best young musicians from China and Taiwan, leading them in high-profile concerts at the national concert halls of Beijing and Taipei.

Ang’s latest project, The Young Musicians’ Foundation of Singapore and its resident orchestra, raises funds for young local musicians who wish to pursue a career in music.

Ang’s uncommon gift was discovered at the age of 4 when he began to play violin, piano and bassoon, and soon he was inspired to study composition. As a teenager, he followed his musical dream all the way to St. Petersburg where he studied conducting in the grand tradition of the legendary Ilya Musin.

There he developed a particular passion for 20th-century Russian music which, along with French and contemporary Asian repertoire, remains central to his artistic identity. Ang continued his studies at Yale, becoming its first conducting fellow. Maestro Ang is fluent in six languages: English, German, French, Italian, Russian and Mandarin, most of which he learned for the purpose of rehearsing in orchestras’ native tongues.

Zhang Zuo (Zee Zee) Piano

Zhang Zuo (Zee Zee) Piano

In recent seasons, pianist Zhang Zuo (“Zee Zee”) has appeared with the BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Belgian National Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, among others.

She has worked with leading conductors including Paavo Järvi, Marin Alsop and Yan Pascal Tortelier and has appeared at some of the top festivals, such as the BBC Proms, Ravinia Festival in the United States and the Beethoven Festival in Poland. Zee Zee has also had success with a series of solo recitals at notable halls around the world, including the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Lincoln Center in New York, London’s Wigmore Hall and De Doelen in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

An imaginative and electrifying performer, Zee Zee began her musical training in Germany at the age of 5. Upon returning to her native China, she became one of the most sought-after young artists in the nation, collaborating with leading Chinese orchestras with which she retains a close link. The 2016-17 season sees her as the artist in residence with the Shenzen Symphony Orchestra touring Europe.

Having completed her piano studies with Dan Zhao Yi at the Shenzhen Arts School, Zee Zee was invited to continue her artistic development under the mentorship of Nelita True at the Eastman School of Music and Yoheved Kaplinsky and Robert McDonald at The Juilliard School, where she won the coveted Petschek Piano Award.

Zee Zee was awarded first prize at China’s First International Piano Concerto Competition, the Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition in America and the Krainev International Piano Competition in Ukraine; she was also a prizewinner at the 2013 Queen Elizabeth Competition. She has studied at the Peabody Institute with Leon Fleisher and continues to receive guidance from Alfred Brendel.

The 2015-16 season marked the end of Zee Zee’s two-year residency with the BBC’s flagship New Generation Artists program. During her residency, she gave a number of orchestral concerts and recitals in London and around Great Britain. As an NGA artist, she has appeared with the BBC Philharmonic and BBC Ulster Orchestra with which she performed a live, televised concert for the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall.

She also debuted with the Warsaw Philharmonic, performed the Liszt “Totentanz” and Beethoven First Concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra, and performed the Beethoven First Concerto with Paavo Järvi in Parnu, Estonia, at the Järvi family festival. She also performed with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Charles Dutoit.

Zee Zee has been described as “full of enthusiasm and glamour, radiating the vigor of youth” (Chinese Gramophone). Her interpretations and communicative abilities have been praised as “taking us to another reality… bright, expressive and moving to the extreme” (Belgischer Rundfunk) while her creative maturity has been hailed as “a powerful, passionate and compelling representation of pure artistry” (Los Angeles Times).

Aside from her solo career, Zee Zee is a passionate chamber musician and has recently recorded her first album for Deutsche Grammophon with colleagues Esther Yoo and Narek Hakhnazaryan.

To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.