Nancy Zhou, born in 1993, is attending Keystone School of San Antonio, Texas. Influenced in music by her father and teacher, Long Zhou, Nancy has been studying the violin since age 4. She gave her first recital when she was 5. From then on, Nancy has attended master classes with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (2005), Peter Oundjian (2001), Pinchas Zukerman (2006), Glenn Dicterow (2009), and Koichiro Harada of Japan’s Toho School of Music (2007), and performed for conductor Kurt Masur (2009).
Nancy has also participated in various competitions. She began participating in 2003 and won the Pearl Amster Concerto Competition twice in 2003 and 2004, and was awarded a Director’s Prize at the Kingsville International Competition at age 10. In 2006, as the youngest contestant, Nancy launched her first involvement in an international competition at the 13th Wieniawski International Competition for violinists aged 30 and under, ranking in the top 24 from a pool of 108 applicants. In the spring of 2008, she traveled to Washington, DC, and received first prize at the 5th Johansen International Competition for violin, and in conjunction, received a reward for the best performance of a commissioned work. She also received first prize at the 2nd Chinese International Violin Competition in New York in August 2009. In the winter of 2010, she was a laureate of the 10th International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition and won the special prize for the best performance of Kaija Saariaho’s Tocar for violin and piano. She was an active member of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, and won the YOSA Concerto Competition (2004), performing with the Philharmonic Orchestra as a soloist. Nancy has participated in the Tuesday Musical Club Competition (2003), ranking in the Bach Circle, the highest level. Nancy has also attended string camps, and has performed at a number of local concerts, such as the “Child Prodigy” series (2003-2005).
Besides competing internationally and nationally, Nancy has appeared on the national radio show, “From the Top” (2005), and has been constantly active outside of school. She was enrolled in the Aspen Music Festival and School (June-July 2008), studying with Paul Kantor, and the New School’s New York String Seminar, directed by Jaime Laredo (December 2008).
As a recipient of German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter’s Circle of Friends Foundation since 2008, Nancy has collaborated with Ms. Mutter on tours in areas around Europe. Additionally, Ms. Mutter has generously sponsored Nancy in her musical progress by a monthly scholarship. Other highlights of her concert schedule included solo recitals at the Southwestern University (November 2009), in Washington, DC (October 2009), in Baden-Baden, Germany (July 2010), and at the Coker Methodist Church (March 2010). Concert repertoire works also include Lalo Espagnole with the Mid- Texas Symphony (October 2009), Sibelius Violin Concerto in a professional debut with the San Antonio Symphony (January 2010), Paganini Violin Concerto with the Symphony of the Hills (April 2010), Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Prince George’s Philharmonic (October 2010), and the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Baden-Baden Philharmonic in Germany (July 2010).
Aside from music, Nancy was also presented with the Princeton Book Prize (April 2010), a prize awarded to the top 0.6% San Antonio high school juniors outstanding in academics and extracurricular endeavours and chosen by alumni from Princeton University.