Born into a musical family, pianist and Young Steinway Artist, Alvin Zhu is recognized internationally for his musical talent and versatility. His grandfather, Gongyi Zhu was China's great piano master judging international competitions such as Chopin, Van Cliburn, and Queen Elizabeth. Continuing Gongyi's pianistic legacy, Zhu has had acclaimed performances throughout United States, Italy, France, China, and Australia.
A frequent soloist with orchestras, Zhu has given performances of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Gershwin, and Rachmaninoff concertos with orchestras around the world. His recent collaborations include Mozart's Concerto in d minor K. 466 with Maestro Grant Cooper and the West Virginia Symphony in April 2015, and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor" with the EOS Symphony at the Beijing Concert Hall in 2013. Other orchestral collaborations include McGill Symphony in Montreal, Pittsburgh Butler County Symphony, Pittsburgh Civic Symphony, Pittsburgh Mckeesport Symphony, Nittany Valley Symphony in Pennsylvania, and CCM Philharmonia in Cincinnati. His upcoming orchestra engagements for 2015-2016 include Mozart's Concert in C Major K. 467 with Maestro Rossen Milanov and the Chautauqua Symphony, and Rachmaninoff's Second Concerto with Maestro Yongyan Hu and EOS Symphony Orchestra.
A soloist and chamber musician, Zhu has appeared in Alice Tully Hall in New York, Steinway Hall in New York, Sydney Opera House in Australia, Beijing Concert Hall in China, Palais du Congress in Montreal Canada, Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Lincoln Hall in Foxburg, Lincoln Park's Performance Art Center, Paul Recital Hall and Morse Recital Hall in the Juilliard School in New York, and Fletcher Hall in Chautauqua, New York and Sprague Hall in Yale University.
His versatility as a performing artist has led him to celebrated performances at the Ceremony and Gala of the International Women's Forum in 2010, and the G20 Conference in Pittsburgh 2009. Other than appearing live, he has recorded for NPR and WQED radio, Pittsburgh's Classical Music Station.
His solo recitals for various music series include "Steinway Piano Series" for the Steinway Society of Western Pennsylvania, " Music in Corrales" in New Mexico, "Music for Mt. Lebanon" in Pennsylvania, and "Go Foxburg!" in Foxburg, Pennsylvania. His upcoming recital in October 2015 will be for "Music in Mt. Lebanon" with pieces from Beethoven, Chopin, Barber, and Mussorgsky.
Zhu has won top prizes in many national competitions throughout the United States. In addition, he was selected for "From the Top" as a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist. In 2009, Zhu was the first American pianist to be inducted into the Young Steinway Artists Roster and has the honor of representing Steinway at each of his performance venues.
Among the top music festivals in the county, Zhu has attended Aspen, Music Academy of the West, Chautauqua, and Intersection between Jazz and Classical Festivals of full scholarships. Zhu was awarded top prize in both the Solo Piano Competition at Chautauqua Music Festival, and the Classical Competition at the IbJC Music Festival earning him collaboration with legendary pianist, Leon Fleisher.
As a guest lecturer, Zhu enjoys coaching young pianists in masterclasses in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Zhu was invited to give a masterclass and performance for the Li Delun Foundation and the Steinway Gallery of Toronto, Canada in July of 2014 and gave masterclass for Young Artists Program of the Steinway Society of Western Pennsylvania in Nov. 2014. As a teaching artist at Yale University School of Music, Zhu has given private lessons and master classes to undergraduate students.
A multi-faceted musician, Zhu engages in conducting and composition. He is a fervent conductor, having conducted the Juiliard Lab Orchestra in 2014 as part of his studies with Maestro Jeffrey Milarsky. As an avid composer, his "Sonata in C Major", and "Valse Fantasie" have garnered adoration at Juilliard and among audiences. His most recent work, a three-movement sonata for violin and piano entitled "Poeme" premiered at Juilliard's Paul Recital Hall in December 2012, with violinist, Diomedes Saraza, Jr. "Poeme" has subsequently been used in both Zhu's and Saraza's graduation recitals, and chosen as part of a solo program given by Saraza in the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Zhu began piano and violin lessons with his parents at the age of four and studied piano with Yeeha Chiu and Marylene Dosse. A graduate of the 5-year BM/MM Accelerated Program with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky at the Juilliard School, Zhu spent one year pursuing the Artist Diploma with Peter Frankl at Yale University, School of Music. Zhu was awarded the C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellowship at Juilliard and will be a Doctor of Music candidate studying under Dr. Kaplinsky and Julian Martin. Over the years, Zhu has participated in masterclasses with Gary Graffman, Emanuel Ax, Lang Lang, Muray Perahia, Leon Fleisher, Malcolm Bilson, Robert Levin, Fred Chiu, Jon Nakamatsu, Misha Dichter, Shikun Liu, and David Allen Wehr.