Recital Series Haochen Zhang
Upon winning the gold medal at the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2009, Haochen Zhang has become an international star captivating audiences around the world. The acclaimed pianist from Shanghai performs in a unique recital showcasing the fearless imagination and spectacular musical mastery for which he is known.
Following his latest release of Beethoven’s five concertos with the Philadelphia Orchestra which was met with widespread critical acclaim, Haochen Zhang has been hailed for his “dazzling technique, gorgeous tone and penetrating, spontaneous musicality.”
His Abu Dhabi Festival solo recital debut will see the Gold Medalist of the thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition present a programme of some of Beethoven’s most celebrated sonatas, namely No. 29, 30 and 32. Written between 1818 and 1822, the last piano sonatas are considered a milestone in piano literature and mark the influential composer’s departure from conventional form. Beethoven’s final contributions are revered for their intrinsic qualities and complexity. In fact, No. 29 was deemed to be Beethoven’s most difficult sonata at the time, considered unplayable until almost 15 years later, when Liszt, whose own work was greatly influenced by the late sonatas, played it in a concert.
Haochen Zhang closes his solo recital with a brilliant rendition of sonata n.32, considered by experts to be the greatest, thus concluding the virtuoso pianist’s breathtaking performance.
Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major, Op. 106 “Hammerklavier”
Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109
Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op.111
Hoachen Zhang piano
Presented by Abu Dhabi Festival
The Blue Hall
The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi
16 March 2023
About the artist
Since his gold medal win at the Thirteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2009, Haochen Zhang has captivated audiences in the United States, Europe, and Asia with a unique combination of deep musical sensitivity, fearless imagination, and spectacular virtuosity. In 2017, Haochen received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, which recognizes talented musicians with the potential for a major career in music.
Haochen has already appeared with many of the world’s leading festivals and orchestras including the BBC Proms with Long Yu and the China Philharmonic; the Munich Philharmonic with the late Lorin Maazel in a sold-out tour in Munich and China; The Philadelphia Orchestra with Yannick Nézet-Séguin; the Sydney Symphony and David Robertson in a China tour; and the NDR Hamburg and Thomas Hengelbrock in a tour of Tokyo, Beijing, and Shanghai.
Highlights of this summer include performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra at Bravo! Vail Music Festival and the National Orchestra of Metz at Het Concertgebouw, and a recital at the International Keyboard Odyssiad & Festival, among others. In the 2022-23 season, Haochen joins the Filarmonica della Scala, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, Festival Orchestra of Arizona MusicFest, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Memphis Symphony Orchestra, along with the Chinese symphonies of Shanghai and Guangzhou, plus China Philharmonic Orchestra with Maestro Long Yu. He additionally gives North American tours with the Dover Quartet and makes recital appearances at the Chopin Society and in Asia.
In recent seasons, Haochen debuted with the New York Philharmonic, Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, toured Asia with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and performed with the Dover Quartet at Kennedy Center. He has given extensive recital and concerto tours in Asia with performances in China, Hong Kong, and Japan. In October 2017, Haochen gave a concerto performance at Carnegie Hall with the NCPA Orchestra, which was followed by his recital debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall.
In October 2022, Haochen released his album on BIS performing the complete Beethoven piano concertos with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Nathalie Stutzmann. The two other studio albums also released by this Nordic label: his debut concerto album released in July 2019, performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra under Dima Slobodeniouk; and his first solo album was released in February 2017, which including works by Schumann, Brahms, Janáček and Liszt.
Haochen Zhang has performed with Munich Philharmonic, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Sydney Symphony, Japan Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Mariinsky Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, Taiwan Philharmonic, and Hong Kong Philharmonic orchestras, among others. In recital, he has performed at Spivey Hall, La Jolla Music Society, Cliburn Concerts, and Wolf Trap Discovery Series, among others.
Haochen is an avid chamber musician, collaborating with colleagues such as the Dover, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Brentano Quartets. He is frequently invited by chamber music festivals in the United States including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and La Jolla Summerfest.
Haochen’s performances at the Cliburn Competition were released to critical acclaim by Harmonia Mundi in 2009. He is featured in Peter Rosen’s award-winning documentary chronicling the 2009 Cliburn Competition, A Surprise in Texas.
Haochen is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied under Gary Graffman. He has also been studying periodically with Andreas Haefliger in Vienna. He was previously trained at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Shenzhen Arts School, where he was admitted in 2001 at the age of 11 to study with Professor Dan Zhaoyi.