Dizhou Zhao has been hailed as “a fully-fledged artistic force” by The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Fanfare Magazine says the pianist “offers the blend of passion and intelligence that characterizes the mature artist” and that he “lives fully in the music.” Dizhou was born and raised in China, where he began studying the piano at the age of four in his hometown of Shanghai. By age seven he performed his first public concert and won First Prize in a competition in Shanghai. Just one year later, he was invited to record five of Mozart’s piano sonatas, and at eleven, he enrolled in the preparatory Music School of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. At age 17, he was invited to participate in the Cong-A International Piano Competition in Seoul, as its youngest competitor, and performed Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra the following year, with only ten-days’ notice.
A winner of Astral’s 2012 National Auditions, he is also winner of numerous competition prizes, Dizhou captured the top prize at Australia’s Southern Highlands International Piano Competition, the International Keyboard Institute & Festival’s Dorothy MacKenzie Artist Recognition Scholarship Awards, and the Louisiana International Piano Competition, which included concert engagements in France, Russia, and Australia as well as a solo performance in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. He has also been a prizewinner in the Tbilisi and Viardo international piano competitions, as well as the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, and received the Special Recognition Award from the San Antonio International Competition and the Special Chopin Award at the first USASU International Piano Competition in Tempe, Arizona.
Upcoming performances include recitals in the Taipei National Concert Hall and a performance in Detroit’s Max M. Fisher Music Center. Dizhou performed Mozart’s Double Piano Concerto with famed Italian pianist Stefano Miceli in Boston’s Tsai Performance Center in October 2010, with the Leipzig Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also the featured soloist in Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, which was broadcast on ABC Radio. He has given recitals at the Newport Music Festival and participated in the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal. Recent engagements include a recital in Taiwan’s National Recital Hall, a series of all-Chopin recitals in Texas, and appearances at the Bergamot Music Festival and the New York Piano Festival. He also gave masterclasses in Italy and China. In 2008, Dizhou recorded his debut solo CD in Moscow, for the Classical Records label.
Dizhou came to the U.S. in 1999 to study at the New England Conservatory, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree with a distinguished performance award and studied with Russell Sherman and Patricia Zander. He also holds a Master’s degree from NEC, under Alexander Korsantia, and in 2010 received an Artist Diploma, with honors, from Boston’s Longy School of Music. In 2001, he won NEC’s Concerto Competition and in the same year performed Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor with the NEC Honor Orchestra in Boston’s Jordan Hall. In the summer of 2015, he was a professor at the International Piano Master Festival in Brindisi, Italy. He currently serves as the director of the piano program at the National Music Institute for Young Artists, the programming chair of Cranbrook Music Guild in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and is Executive Artistic Director of the Happy Day Music Performing Arts Center in Troy, Michigan, where he teaches nearly 100 students.