A native of Shanghai, Chen Zhao showed an early interest in music, playing a makeshift violin (a chopstick and pencil box) until his parents gave him a 1/8-size violin on his fourth birthday. He studied with his uncle and gave his first public performance at the Shanghai Children’s Palace at age six. He went on to study at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Crossroads School for Art and Sciences, Curtis Institute of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, New World Symphony Fellowship, and joined the San Francisco Symphony at age 25. His teachers include Jiyang Zhao, Heiichiro Ohyama, Felix Galimir, and Camilla Wicks.
Chen Zhao has toured throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, and performed at Ravinia, La Jolla, Sun Valley, Round Top, Santa Fe, PMF, Evian, BBC Proms, and Lucerne festivals. He has performed as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Chamber Orchestra, and the Stanford Symphony Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Zhao has performed with Martin Lovett, Miriam Fried, Paul Neubauer, Robert Chen, Gilbert Kalish, Jorja Fleezanis, Geraldine Walther, and studied with members of the Amadeus, Guarneri, Vermeer, Juilliard, and Borodin Quartets.
Chen Zhao has mentored young violinists in San Francisco since 2000. He is a violin professor at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and serves as the orchestral training coach for both the SF Conservatory Orchestra and the SF Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Lakes Area Music Festival
715 Laurel Street
Brainerd MN 56401
Hours*: W, F 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. *call to confirm during off-season