Known for captivating interpretations of a wide repertoire, Natalie Zhu is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Musical Fund Society Career Advancement Award, the Andrew Wolf Memorial Chamber Music Award and Astral Artists Award. The Philadelphia Inquirer heralded Zhu’s performance in recital as a display of “emotional and pianistic pyrotechnics”.
Ms. Zhu has performed throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She has performed with the Vermeer, Miami, and Daedalus quartets, and collaborated with members of the Guarneri, Orion, Mendelssohn, and Ying Quartets; and the Beaux Arts Trio, Variation Trio and Time For Three. Ms. Zhu has toured with renowned violinist Hilary Hahn since 1997. They released a CD for the Deutsche Grammophon label in September 2005.
Highlights of the current season include her return to the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Crested Butte Chamber Music Festival, The Friends of Chamber Music Reading Concert Series, Brooklyn Library Chamber Music Series, Maestro Foundation Concert Series, Curtis On Tour project, and concert tours in China and Korea.
Ms. Zhu has been Artistic Director of the Kingston Chamber Music Festival since 2009 and has featured in festivals such as Marlboro, Amelia Island, Skaneateles, Tanglewood, Chicago Chamber Musicians, and Great Lakes, as well as Kingston. She recently formed the Clarosa Piano Quartet, dedicated to exploring and enriching the piano quartet repertoire. The quartet consists of Zhu’s husband, violist Che-Hung Chen of the Philadelphia Orchestra, his orchestral colleague, first associate concertmaster Juliette Kang, and cellist Clancy Newman.
Ms. Zhu began her piano studies with Xiao-Cheng Liu at the age of 6 in her native China and made her first public appearance at age nine in Beijing. At age 11 she immigrated with her family to Los Angeles, and by age 15 was enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she received the prestigious Rachmaninoff Award and studied with Gary Graffman. In 2001, she joined the Curtis faculty as staff pianist. She received a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music where she studied with Claude Frank.