The 27-year-old Swiss-born pianist and composer Mélodie Zhao has proven herself to be one of the most talented musicians of her generation throughout her numerous recordings - including Beethoven Complete Sonatas, Tchaikovsky Piano Concertos, Chopin Complete Etudes, Liszt Transcendental Etudes, among others - and international tours.
At nine she entered the Geneva Music Conservatory to study with Mayumi Kameda and at 13 the Geneva Music University where she received the Bachelor and Soloist Master degrees at 16 in the class of Pascal Devoyon. She then followed her professor to Berlin where she is presently based and obtained a second Master at the University of Arts. She also received lessons from Paul Badura-Skoda in Paris and Vienna.
Mélodie Zhao is accustomed to the stage since the age of six. She played with major orchestras such as the Moscow Tchaikovsky Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, China National and Shanghai Philharmonic, under the direction of conductors like Vladimir Fedoseyev, Howard Griffiths, Michail Jurowski, Gustav Kuhn and Muhai Tang. She performed worldwide in prestigious concert halls such as Lincoln Center NYC, Tonhalle Zurich, NCPA Beijing, Victoria Hall Geneva, Kölner Philharmonie, Theatre du Châtelet Paris, LAC Lugano and the festivals of Merano, Budapest, New Ross, Gstaad, Palermo, Valldemossa, Tiroler Festspiele Erl, Davos etc.
In parallel, Mélodie Zhao began to study composition at 15 with Jean-Claude Schlaepfer in Geneva and Nicolas Bacri in Brussels. She regularly receives orders from orchestras and troupes such as Rudra Béjart Ballet or China National Opera. She has a very personal and distinctive style and language and recently started to explore film music, too.
In 2002, she premiered her "Ode to Peace", together with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and the Ernst Senff Chor Berlin under Roland Böer, at the Berlin Konzerthaus for an international TV production.
Her works include chamber, orchestral and religious music, as well as solo piano pieces where she often brings the virtuosity to a challenging level. She has a regular collaboration with the Swedish “Camerata Nordica” who performs with her in special concert projects combining classics and Mélodie’s own compositions and arrangements.
She regularly conducts orchestras from the piano in many major piano concertos (Chopin 1 and 2, Beethoven Choral Fantasy etc.) as well as her own compositions.
As a millennial, Mélodie Zhao is present on the social networks and shows regularly quality videos on platforms like YouTube. These include innovative and modern music videos combining fashion, cinema, inspiring scripts and set design among others, as well as one-shot and live video recordings. Her goal is to present a different image of classical music in order to reach more people of her generation, using ways that they are familiar with and by expressing through her art powerful messages inspired by our time.
- Chopin 24 Études (independent/Claves 2008)
- Liszt Études d’exécution transcendante (Claves 2011)
- Beethoven Complete Piano Sonatas (Claves 2014)
- Tchaikovsky Concertos 1 & 2 (Michail Jurowski, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Claves 2015)
- Album “Wanderer” with works of Schubert, Bach/Busoni, Chopin and Liszt (NCPA 2018)
- Haydn Complete Keyboard Concertos (Howard Griffiths, Camerata Schweiz, cpo 2020)
- Next Generation Mozart Soloists Vol. 2, Concerto No. 5 KV 175 (Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Howard Griffiths, Alpha Classics 2022)
The live recordings below are taken from the pianist's weekly "Mélodie & Friends" livestreaming concert series during the "Corona" measures. You can watch the full material on YouTube.
On Sunday, February 5, 2023, Mélodie Zhao will take over the solo part in Robert Schumann's Piano Concerto at short notice for a performance by the Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt under the baton of its principal conductor Jörg-Peter Weigle at the Kölner Philharmonie.
Mélodie Zhao (English, 420 words)
Mélodie Zhao (Short Biography English, 225 words)
Mélodie Zhao (deutsch, 570 Worte)
Mélodie Zhao (Kurzbiografie deutsch, 245 Worte)
Mélodie Zhao (français, 510 mots)
Mélodie Zhao (français - courte, 233 mots)
Mélodie Zhao (中文, pdf)
credit: Karla Newton