Harmony Zhu (Canada)
A happy girl with multiple talents, Harmony has been featured on CBC News, NPR’s From the Top, as well as NBC’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show three times for her exceptional gifts in piano, composition, and chess. In recognition of her “distinguished career in music” and “the high standard in artistic and professional achievements”, Harmony had the privilege to become the youngest “Young Steinway Artist” in history. Over the years, she has performed extensively in Europe, Asia and North America, at prestigious venues including Lincoln Center, Kimmel Center, Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, Harris Hall, and Koerner Hall. Her extraordinary musical maturity and ability to touch emotions with her original melodies, together with her charming charisma and upbeat personality, have captivated and inspired people everywhere she goes.
In October 2017, Harmony had the great honor of performing with The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the Opening Night of the orchestra’s 2017-18 Season. She is also looking forward to performing with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with Maestro Arie Vardi and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Leonard Slatkin this year. Previously in April she was also invited to perform with Maestro Stéphane Denève in the Rachmaninoff Festival of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 16/17 season. In the spring of 2017, Harmony’s phenomenal talent also led her to create a sensation when she was featured in The Simms/Mann Think Tank 2017, an annual convening of leading neuroscientists from around the world on cutting-edge science related to the brain development of children.
In the spring of 2016, Harmony was invited by the Peoria Symphony Orchestra to be the Resident Artist of the Week, where she was featured extensively on local TV and radio programs, and newspapers. Harmony also performed a televised recital in Peoria for Sound Bites Concert “A Prodigy’s Journey” with a live audience and guested at “Consider This” – “What makes a Virtuoso” with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky, broadcast by WTVP. She was invited back in October to perform Beethoven Concerto No.1 as a soloist with Maestro George Stelluto. She captivated the audience with her own cadenza that had a rare blend of deep musical insight, emotional sensitivity, and technical virtuosity.
Harmony came to study at Juilliard when she moved to the U.S. at 8, where she studies piano under the tutelage of Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky and composition with Dr. Ira Taxin. During her first year of study at Juilliard, Harmony won the Juilliard Pre-college Concerto Competition, as the youngest winner ever, and performed as a soloist with the Juilliard orchestra in the same year. She also became the youngest ever pianist to give a solo recital in Juilliard as an honor for outstanding students, and has been giving solo recitals every year since then. Harmony has an enormous passion for composing and improvising and always includes her own pieces in all of her recital programs.
After being featured on From the Top as a soloist in 2015 when she was 9, Harmony recently starred in a music video produced by From the Top – a classical adaptation of a
Grammy Award winning piece. She is scheduled to be featured again in another music video by From the Top in January 2018. In the beginning of 2017, Harmony was the youngest ever invited by The Forum to give three solo recitals at St. Thomas and St. John, Virgin Islands. In 2016, Harmony was invited to perform in two concerts at the Florida Concert Series, also as the youngest ever invited. In 2015, 9 year old Harmony was invited to perform in three concerts at the International Chopin Festival in Poland, as the youngest pianist ever to perform there. Harmony is the youngest fellowship recipient of the Aspen Music Festival and has given many recitals there in the past three years, including jumping in for Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky in a concert on an overnight notice. As the youngest guest ever, Harmony was interviewed by the Aspen Public Radio for her extraordinary talents in piano, chess, and composition. Harmony had already been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall three times before she was 7. In 2015, she had the privilege to be invited to open the International Festival “Passion of Music 2015” at Carnegie Hall. Harmony was named one of the “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” when she was only 8, as the youngest ever in history, a recognition of her uncommon accomplishments at a young age.
With a deep musical sensitivity far beyond her age, Harmony has distinguished herself by consistently winning first prizes in piano competitions from an early age, competing within older age categories. In the spring of 2015, Harmony won the Grand Prize at the VI Chopin International Competition in Connecticut. She set records in both being the youngest winner in history and earning the highest mark ever at 99.8, including four perfect scores from five judges. From 2012 to 2014, when she was participating in the Canadian Music Competition, the most prestigious national music competition in Canada, Harmony became a phenomenon by being the youngest winner ever in history to win the National First Place at the age of 6, as well as the only participant ever to consistently win the CMC all from older age categories for 3 years in a row.
Harmony’s talents extend well beyond music. As a chess prodigy, she has won numerous trophies and medals in national and international chess tournaments. She started playing in open tournaments when she was only 6 and was awarded the title of Woman Candidate Master at the age of 7. Harmony holds the title of WORLD CHAMPION of her age group after winning the World Youth Chess Championships held that year in the United Arab Emirates. As a well-rounded child, Harmony also loves reading, drawing, writing stories, science, math, history, dancing, singing, paper cutting, bird watching, playing ping pong and badminton, swimming and all kinds of sports.