Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto
Darrell Ang, conductor
Zhang Zuo, piano
HUANG RUO: Folk Songs for Orchestra
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 3
ELGAR: Enigma Variations
Preview Talk with host Alan Chapman at 7 p.m.
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.
Enjoy image magnification on our big screens throughout the concert for a closer look at pianist Zhang Zuo, guest conductor Darrell Ang and the musicians of Pacific Symphony!
Zhang Zho hosts a multi-generational piano masterclass on March 22 in the intimate Samueli Theater. Tickets are just $10. Information and Tickets.
Read more about the music and the artists in the program notes.
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, Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano “Giuseppe Verdi,” Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, RTVE Symphony Orchestra Madrid, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Taiwan Philharmonic, NHK and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestras, among many 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.
In his native Singapore, Ang became the youngest associate conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and served as the music director of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra. In 2010, Ang led the World Youth Olympic Games Orchestra in an internationally televised opening ceremony of the first-ever World Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. 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 uncommon gift was discovered at the age of 4 when he began to play violin and piano. His natural artistic curiosity had no bounds, 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. Ang continued his studies at Yale, becoming its first conducting fellow. He is grateful to his mentors Lorin Maazel and Esa-Pekka Salonen for their invaluable advice and support. Ang is fluent in English, German, French, Italian, Russian and Mandarin, most of which he learned for the purpose of rehearsing in the orchestras' native languages.
An imaginative and electrifying performer, Zhang Zuo (“Zee Zee”) has appeared with the BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Belgium National Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, among others. She has worked with leading conductors including Paavo Jarvi, Marin Alsop and Yan Pascal Totellier 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.
For the 2015-16 season, Zee Zee debuted at the Beijing Music Festival, returned to Warsaw with the Warsaw Philharmonic and Maestro Long Yu, as well as gave performances with the BBC Symphony and Andrew Litton and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.
This season also marked the last of Zee Zee’s two-year residency with the BBC's flagship New Generation Artists program. During her residency, she has given 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 whom she performed a live, televised concert for the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall.
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 including the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Shanghai Philharmonic and Beijing Symphony Orchestra.
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 prizes 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.