AN EXTRAORDINARY TIME
HAIOU ZHANG PLAYS BACH & BEETHOVEN
SATURDAY 5 JUNE 2021
3PM & 7:30PM
ESPLANADE CONCERT HALL, SINGAPORE
CAPACITY REDUCED TO 50 TICKETS ONLY PER CONCERT.
Our first visiting guest artist in over a year, fêted German-Chinese pianist HAIOU ZHANG makes his Singapore debut, playing possibly the first piano recital here by an international guest artist since the pandemic.
Hailed by Fanfare as a pianist whose gifts at which “Horowitz would smile approvingly”, Hannover-based Zhang presents a German programme of extraordinary music for these exceptional times of self-reflection and re-discovery. From Beethoven come the special drama and brilliance of the Waldstein Sonata, and transcendent spirituality in the fragile and sublime colours of his final sonatas. They contrast profoundly with the quiet reverence and sense of renewal in two transcriptions of Bach’s most beautiful melodies.
This promises to be an exceptional musical journey for our present times.
"He recreates a visionary masterpiece with exceptional grandeur and lucidity." (Gramophone)
“The notes fly from Zhang’s fingers as sparks from flint. There is a steel-like strength in his playing that not merely surmounts every technical obstacle but makes of it an effortless lope.” (Fanfare)
Saturday 5 June 2021, 3pm
BACH (arr. Feinberg) – “Largo” from Organ Sonata No. 5 in C major, BWV529
BACH (arr. Lipatti) – “Sheep May Safely Graze” from Hunt Cantata, BWV208
BEETHOVEN – Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109
BEETHOVEN – Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111
Saturday 5 June 2021, 7:30pm
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven -
Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 “Waldstein”
Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109
Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111
(Programme subject to change at the artist's discretion)
HAIOU ZHANG, piano
“He gives a thoroughly noble performance without any excesses. Funerailles… given an appropriately powerful and dramatic performance. Both St Francis of Assisi preaching to the birds and those majestic fountains at the Villa D’Este are so marvelously depicted in Liszt’s music. Zhang has great musicality and the technique to back it up and bring these sound pictures to life. Haiou Zhang gives a true bang-up performance that I’m sure both Liszt and Horowitz would smile at.” (American Record Guide)
“There is a restrained elegance to his playing... With technical equipment like Zhang's - the left-hand octaves in his Liszt's Funerailles are awesome. An interpretation with intellectual rigor and expressive nuance.” (International Record Review)
From a young age, Hannover-based German-Chinese pianist Haiou Zhang has received wide recognition by critics and audiences in Europe, North and South America and the Far East.
His five albums under the Hänssler CLASSIC label have received rave reviews throughout Europe, the United States, Canada and South America. His second volume of Mozart’s piano concertos with the NDR Philharmonic String Players received nominations for “Concerto Recording of the Year” and “Instrumentalist of the Year” from the prestigious German OPUS KLASSIK. “I find Zhang graceful and sensitive in the introspective slow movements, so emotionally affecting, and suitably brisk and vivacious in the Finales.”, as Musicweb International observed. All of Zhang’s recordings are distributed worldwide, and selected by Lufthansa for its inflight entertainment system.
For the 2020/21 season, Zhang performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, K. 467 at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg with the NDR Radiophilharmonie under the baton of Joshua Weilerstein. Other orchestral subscription highlights include Liszt’s Totentanz with the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra under Kahchun Wong, Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 (Bremerhaven Philharmonic Orchestra/Marc Niemann), Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9, K. 271 (Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra/Robertas Šervenikas), Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (Siberian Symphony Orchestra/Dmitry Vasiliev and Ukraine National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Dmitry Logvin), Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra/Amos Talmon) and Mozart’s piano concertos under Giuseppe Lanzetta in Florence. In addition, he will return to the Konzerthaus Berlin and Brucknerhaus Linz for recitals, and perform chamber music with the Philharmonic String Quartet of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Hába Quartet of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the WDR Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players as well as the Elphier Quartett of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in Hamburg.
In the 2018/19 season he performed Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Russian National Philharmonic under Vladimir Spivakov as part of their Europa Tour, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20, K. 466 with the NDR Radiophilharmonie under Andrew Manze, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra/ Vakhtang Kakhidze), and the Mozart piano concerto cycle with the Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin, Estonian Sinfonietta, musica assoluta, and National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia. He also made exciting concert debuts at the Berlin Philharmonie, Essen Philharmonie and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
In the last three seasons, Haiou Zhang performed over 30 recitals in major concert halls across China, his country of origin, to over 40,000 classical music lovers. His riveting performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on a concert tour in 2019 with Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra under the Israeli conductor Yeruham Sharovsky received enthusiastic acclaim.
Zhang won over thousands of concertgoers on a Canadian tour with the Slovak Sinfonietta under Kerry Stratton, performing Beethoven’s piano concertos, as well as Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 K. 467 with the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra under Thomas Fey in Brazil in 2010, each and every concert eliciting standing ovations. Concerto engagements include the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Russian Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra St. Petersburg, Orchestra Filharmonica della Calabria, Ontario Philharmonic, Bochum Symphony Orchestra, Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra, Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, Polish Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra Sopot, Czech Hradec Králové Philharmonic, National Philharmonic of Ukraine and orchestras in China such as the Beijing Symphony Orchestra under Lihua Tan, Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra under James P. Liu, Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra under Renchang Fu, and Changsha Symphony Orchestra under Ming Xiao, among others.
Zhang has performed in many of the world’s finest concerts hall and festivals, including Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Beijing Concert Hall, Shanghai Grand Theater, Sala São Paulo, CBC Glenn Could Studio Toronto, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Gasteig Munich, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Beethovenhaus Bonn, Regentenbau in Bad Kissingen, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Kissinger Sommer, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Würzburg Bach Festival, Augsburg Mozart Festival, Weilburger Schlosskonzerte, Hohenloher Kultursommer, Festival International de Musique de Besançon in France, Festival de Música de Sant Pere de Rodes in Spain, International Music Festival Trecastagni in Italy, Pažaislis Music Festival in Lithunia, International Music Festival Kurressare in Estonia and Tbilisi Autumn International Music Festival in Georgia.
His chamber music partnerships include the Quatuor Hermès, Vision String Quartet, Hába Quartet, WDR Symphony Chamber Players, Meccore String Quartet, Faust Quartet, Eldbjørg Hemsing, Ning Feng, Sarah Christian, Friederike Starkloff, Solenne Paidassi and Leonid Gorokhov.
Zhang is heard regularly in concerts and interviews for various radio stations and television, such as CCTV China, SF1 Switzerland, NPR, BBC3, CBC, Classical FM96.3, Ontario TV Canada, Radio 4 Netherland, ORF 1 Austria, Radio New Zealand, France télévision 3, BR-Klassik, NDR Kultur, WDR3, SWR2, Deutschlandradio Kultur and Deutsche Welle TV.
Silver Medallist at the Fifth International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz in Ukraine and Gold Medallist at the First National Youth Piano Duo Competition in Shenzhen, China, Haiou Zhang was awarded the Audience Prize at the Piano Olympics at the Bad Kissingen Summer Festival, the Gundlach Music Award and the Dr. Maria Zbick Artist Award.
Beside his concert career, he is also the Music Director and Founder of International Music Festival Buxtehude / Altes Land / Harburg in Northern Germany, which has established itself under Zhang’s leadership as one of the most successful classical music institutions in the Hamburg metropolitan area. In January 2020, Zhang was appointed the new Music Director of Öschberghof Klassik in Donaueschingen and since spring 2021, he became the Artistic Director of the International Music Festival Zürich Klassik Artists & Friends in Switzerland.
Haiou Zhang received his very first piano lessons at the age of almost 9. Two years later, he stood out as the one of only four candidates (out of a total of 150) to be accepted into the affiliated primary school of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, before graduating from the Conservatory in 2002 with special honours. In 2011, he graduated from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover with a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance, and a Doctorate in Solo Concert Performance at the top of his class, as a former student of Professor Bernd Goetzke, who was himself the last pupil of the legendary pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. Zhang gives masterclasses throughout Canada, USA, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and various universities in China.