Haochen Zhang

Haochen Zhang (Chinese: 张昊辰; pinyin: zhāng hàochén) (born June 3, 1990) is a Chinese pianist from Shanghai, China. He was a Gold Medalist and First Prize winner of the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2009, becoming one of the youngest winners in the history of the competition.[1] Zhang received a 2017 Avery Fisher Career Grant in recognition of his outstanding talents.[2]

Haochen Zhang
Haochen Zhang.jpeg
Zhang at a rehearsal
Born (1990-06-03) June 3, 1990 (age 30)
OccupationClassical pianist
Awards2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, First Prize
Musical career
Years active1995–present

Early lifeEdit

Zhang began studying piano at three and a half and gave his debut recital at the Shanghai Music Hall at the age of five, performing Haydn and Mozart sonatas, in addition to all 15 of Bach’s two-part inventions.[3] By six, he gave his orchestral debut playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 467 with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He was awarded first prize at the Shanghai Piano Competition at the age of seven and again at nine. At eleven, Zhang gave tours in all the major cities in China performing Beethoven and Mozart Sonatas and the complete Chopin Etudes Op. 10. At twelve, Zhang won the 4th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, becoming the youngest winner in the history of the competition.[4] In 2004, he made his debut at the 49th International Chopin Festival in Duszniki, Poland, performing the complete Chopin Etudes Op. 25.[5]

In 2005, Zhang moved to the United States to attend the Curtis Institute of Music with a full-tuition scholarship as a Harold and Helene Schonberg Fellow to study under the world-renowned Gary Graffman, who also taught Lang Lang and Yuja Wang.[6] The following year, he made his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra performing Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto.

In October 2007, at just 17 years old Zhang became the youngest winner of the China International Piano Competition;[7] and in 2008, at the age of 18, he made his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony performing Mozart's D minor Concerto K.466 and the world premiere of a commissioned work by Ryan Gallagher.[8]


In June 2009, Zhang became the first Chinese competitor to be awarded the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medal at the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition[9]. As part of his prize package, Zhang received commission-free artist management from the Van Cliburn Foundation for three seasons following the competition. Immediately after winning the Gold Medal, Zhang embarked on an extensive three-year tour across the United States and abroad playing an incredible 200 concerts in the Americas, Asia, and Europe, including solos at distinguished festivals such as Beijing Music Festival and the Gilmore International Keyboard Music Festival.[10]

February 10, 2017 Zhang released his first studio album on BIS Records including Schumann's Kinderszenen, Liszt's Ballade No. 2 in B Minor, Brahms's Three Intermezzi, and Janácek's Piano Sonata 1.X.1905, "From the Street."[11]

He is currently managed by Kanzen Arts[12] and KAJIMOTO.[13]

Notable performancesEdit

Zhang has performed with the China National Symphony Orchestra, Krakow State Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and has played concerts throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States including Aspen Music Festival.[14][15][16]

In April 2013, Zhang made his debut in Munich with the Munich Philharmonic and the late maestro Lorin Maazel. In 2014, he made his debut at the BBC Proms with Yu Long and the China Philharmonic playing Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1.

In October 2017, Zhang replaced Lang Lang, whose arm was injured, in China NCPA's Carnegie Hall debut led by Lü Jia.[17]


Year Album Label
2019 Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto #1; Prokofiev - Piano Concerto #2; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, cond. Dima Slobodeniouk BIS Records
2017 Schumann, Liszt, Janácek, Brahms BIS Records
2009 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Harmonia Mundi
2009 2009 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition: Final Round - Haochen Zhang Van Cliburn Foundation


Year Award Rank
2017 Avery Fisher Career Grant
2009 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold
2007 China International Piano Competition 1st
2006 Albert M.Greenfield Student Competition[18] 1st
2002 4th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians 1st
1999 Shanghai Piano Competition 1st
1997 Shanghai Piano Competition 1st

Personal lifeEdit

Zhang is currently based in Philadelphia. He also has broad interests in many other fields, including history and literature.[19]


  1. ^ Itzkoff, Dave. "Two Winners Take Gold Medals in Cliburn Piano Competition". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  2. ^ "BREAKING | 3 VC Artists Awarded 2017 Avery Fisher Career Development Grants". Violin Channel. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Big Spring Herald". Van Cliburn gold medalist to perform with symphony. Archived from the original on 15 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  4. ^ Hodgins, Paul. "Chinese pianist is veteran at 26". Orange County Register. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Piano recital by Zhang Haochen". Shenzhen Daily. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Haochen Zhang Replaces Yuja Wang on the March 11 Alumni Recital Series". Curtis Institute of Music. Archived from the original on 15 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  7. ^ Patterson, David. "Young Haochen Zhang's Boston Debut". The Boston Musical Intelligencer. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  8. ^ Kozinn, Allan (December 2, 2008). "Young Hands in the Center of an Unforgiving Spotlight". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  9. ^ Jean-Pierre Thiollet, 88 notes pour piano solo, Neva Editions, 2015, p.72. ISBN 978-2-3505-5192-0
  10. ^ "Zhang Haochen Piano Recital". Time Out Shanghai. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  11. ^ Dobrin, Peter. "Classical picks:". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Haochen Zhang". Kanzen Arts. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Haochen Zhang Profile". KAJIMOTO. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  14. ^ Spitz, Irving. "A formidable talent dazzles an enthusiastic audience at the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra". Education Update. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  15. ^ "The SF Symphony's 10th Anniversary Chinese New Year Concert & Celebration". SanFrancisco.com. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  16. ^ "Haochen Zhang". Interlude. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Pianist Haochen Zhang Steps in for Lang Lang as Soloist with China NCPA Orchestra on Monday, October 30". Carnegie Hall. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  18. ^ "History". Chopin Competition. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  19. ^ Pellegrini, Nancy. "Zhang Haochen: Child prodigy turned superstar pianist". Time Out Beijing. Retrieved 14 March 2017.

External linksEdit