Education and Background
Xiaoyu Zhang began her theory and piano studies with her father at the age of four and won two gold medals in the young musician competitions in China. Xiaoyu earned her Bachelor and Master degrees from Shanghai Conservatory of Music under the guidance of Professors Shizhen Yao and Xiaosheng Zhao. She earned a Graduate Performance Diploma by the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA, where she worked with Rieko Aizawa, Peter Serkin, and Eda Shlyam. Xiaoyu received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Arizona State University under the direction of Professor Robert Hamilton.
Xiaoyu has given many performances in major cities throughout United States and China, including appearances in New York, Boston, Phoenix, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Hefei and Wuhu. Recently, she has played at the Steinway Hall in New York, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Tempe Center for the Arts, Pickman Hall in Cambridge, and the Shanghai Grand Theater in Shanghai. Xiaoyu has played in many masterclasses and worked with world-renowned pianists such as Vladimir Feltsman, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Anton Nel, Susan Starr, and Alexander Korsantia. Her performances were recognized and praised by her success in prestigious piano competitions, such as the Bosendorfer USASU International Piano Competition and ASU Concerto Competitions, as well as her performances in Piano Summer at SUNY New Paltz.
Xiaoyu is a seasoned educator, chamber music performer and writer. As a teacher, she has been conferred “Shanghai Outstanding Piano Teacher Awards” in 2008 and 2009. Her students have won many awards in national and international piano competitions. Some of her students are currently pursuing their degrees in top music schools worldwide. As a collaborative pianist, she was appointed as the Artistic Instructor of the Conducting Department of Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 2008. She later worked with the “Longitude” Orchestra for performances of contemporary music. As a writer concentrated on classical
music, she has served as the head journalist for Elite magazine in Shanghai.
An award-winning teacher, Xiaoyu has created a well-balanced combination according to the Chinese, Russian, and American teaching approaches. While steady fundamental training is the basis of her teaching approach, Xiaoyu believes that it is equally crucial to help students in establishing good musicianship and interest. She is particularly at home in leading students to learn how to build fascinating sound and phrasing and how to investigate students’ own musical languages.
Xiaoyu is experienced at teaching students of all-ages. Her comprehensive and delicate teaching approaches have been recognized widely by numerous students and professional pianists. Xiaoyu believes that music teaching is a kind of communication, it has always been her biggest pleasure to lead her students to enjoy music.