Lauded for her musical maturity, expressive interpretations and impressive technical ability, 15 year-old British violinist Leia Zhu is recognised as a star of the future. Since her debut at age four, she has performed at prestigious festivals and venues in more than 15 countries around the world, and with numerous established orchestras and international artists.
Appointed Artist-in-Residence with the London Mozart Players in October 2021, she embeds herself within the orchestra, performing as featured soloist, leading play/direct programmes and in chamber music. Leia also plays a crucial role in the orchestra’s community residencies in Croydon and Hastings, inspiring and motivating her peers through educational projects.
2021/22 season highlights include multiple engagements with London Mozart Players, a return to English Chamber Orchestra at Cadogan Hall, concerts at KKL Luzern with Festival Strings Lucerne and Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Sage Gateshead with Royal Northern Sinfonia and at Marvão International Music Festival, a three-city tour to Italy, and recital debuts at Tonhalle Zürich, Biblioteksaal Polling, Menuhin Festival Gstaad and Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London.
In August 2021, Zhu debuted at age 14 with London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle, as part of the orchestra’s annual BMW Classics concert in London’s Trafalgar Square, a concert already postponed from the previous year due to the pandemic.
Zhu performs in major concert halls across Europe, such as Royal Festival Hall, Cadogan Hall, Barbican Centre and Milton Court in London, BOZAR in Brussels, Mozarteum Grosser Saal in Salzburg, KKL in Lucerne, Berliner Philharmonie, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg.
She has also appeared at prestigious festivals, including Rheingau Musik, MozartFest Würzburg, Interlaken Classics, White Nights and Musical Olympus in St Petersburg and Vadim Repin’s Trans-Siberian Art, with selected performances broadcasted on BR/Deutschlandradio and BBC Radio 3.
In 2019, Zhu embarked on a six-city tour of Israel with the Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble, and she has previously toured Switzerland and Germany with Festival Strings Lucerne, performed across the north of England as soloist with the English Philharmonic Ensemble, and toured Spain with the Los Angeles-based Classical Concert Chamber Orchestra.
Special collaborations include playing with National Orchestra of Belgium in 2016, conducted by Maxim Vengerov, performing with Noah Bendix-Balgley (Berliner Philharmoniker’s concertmaster) in 2017, and sharing the stage with Roby Lakatos, accompanied by the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, broadcast live to an audience of millions in 2018.
In producing her own regular videos, Zhu is a confident communicator and passionate advocate for classical music. She has been featured by international media including Classic FM, BBC News, ITV, Sky News, The Strad magazine, Violin Channel and Violinist.com, as well as news channels in Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, Germany, Israel, Greece, the US and Austria, and newspapers and online media around the world.
She regularly posts videos on her popular YouTube channel, where she shares her joy of music, composers and creativity, which attract thousands of subscribers and views.
“Aged 14, with a poise and musical intelligence beyond her years, she is making that difficult transition from prodigy to star with apparent ease. She was perfectly at home in this virtuosic showpiece [Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso]. Watch out for her.”