Some know her as Zuo Zhang, others call her Zee Zee, but for many, she's a world-class pianist. Zhang has graced the stage of some of the greatest concert halls throughout Europe, the US and China, winning global acclaim as a piano virtuoso. The Gen.T honouree was the prize winner of the 2013 Queen Elisabeth Competition as well as the Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition.
Following her critically acclaimed performance with Paavo Järvi and the NHK Orchestra in the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2019, Zhang is coming back to Hong Kong to perform Ravel and Liszt pieces, captivating the audience with her powerful performance.
Ahead of her upcoming piano recital, we talk to Zhang about how she feels about playing in the city again, her love for music and how she deals with rigorous practice and pressure.
Congratulations on your upcoming recital! How does it feel to be back in Hong Kong?
It's my first time travelling outside of China since the beginning of the pandemic, so having such an opportunity to perform means a lot for me as a musician.
Is your experience playing in Hong Kong different from overseas?
Definitely. Growing up, I was influenced by Hong Kong's culture so I have a special connection to the city. When I was in Shenzhen as a teenager, I visited Hong Kong every week to watch concerts, attend lessons and go shopping. I also grew up listening to music and watching TVB.
I have been also visiting Hong Kong frequently in recent years. Back in 2007, I performed with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time for Symphony Under the Star, with over 30,000 audiences enjoyed my performance.
Then, I came back in 2015 with Tan Dun, and in 2019 with NHK Symphony at the Hong Kong Arts Festival, followed by a tour with my Z.E.N Trio and to take part in the chamber program with Premiere Performances and many more. But this is actually the first time that I'm playing with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra as a soloist for a concert in the music season, so it's definitely a milestone for my career.