Sixteen-year-old violin prodigy Leia Zhu performs a beautiful repertoire of Mozart, Strauss, Debussy, Wieniawski and Sarasate accompanied by versatile Swiss pianist Benjamin Engeli.
The British-Chinese virtuoso, whose solo career includes performing with the London Symphony Orchestra, displays her renowned talent and impressive technical ability in this special recital.
The program for the evening includes:
W.A. Mozart (1756-1791)
Violin Sonata No. 18 in G Major (K 301/293a) – 15 min
- I. Allegro con Spirito
- II. Allegro
R. Strauss (1864-1949)
Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 18 – 27 min
- I. Allegro, ma non troppo
- II. Improvisation. Andante cantabile
- III. Finale. Andante- Allegro
Interval – 10 min
Sonata in G minor for Violin and Piano, L.140 – 16 min
- I. Allegro vivo
- II. Intermède. Fantasque et léger
- III. Finale. Très animé
H. Wieniawski (1835- 1880)
Fantasia on Themes from “Faust”, Op.20 – 17 min
P. Sarasate (1844-1908)
Caprice Basque – 7 min
Leia Zhu – Violin
Lauded for her musical maturity, expressive interpretations and impressive technical ability, 16 year-old British violinist Leia Zhu is recognised as a star of the future. A student of renowned Ukrainian-Israeli violinist and pedagogue Itzhak Rashkovsky, 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, while also playing a crucial role in the orchestra’s community residencies in Croydon and Hastings, inspiring and motivating her peers through educational projects.
2022/23 season highlights include a series of debuts in Europe, with Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Paavo Järvi, Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal and Patrick Hahn, Festival Internacional de Música de Marvão with Christoph Poppen, and in the UK, with London Philharmonic Orchestra, Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra and Bath Philharmonia. She also returns to Festival Strings Lucerne, and Tel Aviv Soloists for a 4-city tour of Israel, while appearing in recital in the UK, in Oxford, Salisbury and Newcastle.
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, and later that following season with Lucerner Sinfonieorchester, as well as in recital at Tonhalle Zürich, Menuhin Festival Gstaad and St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London.
In May 2022, at age 15 she became a Patron of The HarrisonParrott Foundation with a focus on expanding interest in classical music for all generations. In July of the same year, Leia Zhu is the youngest musician, after pianist Bruce Liu, 25, and conductor Klaus Mäkelä, 26, to be included on the list of 30 brilliant young musicians all under the age of 30 by Classic FM for its 30th birthday special edition.
Zhu performs in major concert venues 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.
Benjamin Engeli- Piano
Each week Benjamin Engeli commutes around 1000 kilometers by train for his many concerts, his teaching job at Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, his various Jury engagements and his commitment for his family. His versatility is also reflected in his impressive piano repertoire. As a soloist he appears with renowned orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra Moscow and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich.
Benjamin is also a gifted chamber musician: as a member of the Tecchler Trio he won the 2007 ARD Music Competition, and is now appearing with the Ensemble Kandinsky and other musical partners in venues including the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Berlin, Wigmore Hall London, Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai Oriental Art Center and the Vienna Musikverein. As member of the Gershwin Piano Quartet he likes to cross musical borders and is also active as an arranger of music by many different composers, ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach to Michael Jackson. Engeli hails from a musical family and started his musical education on various instruments at an early age. He studied horn at first before eventually concentrating on his principal instrument, studying with Adrian Oetiker at the Musik-Akademie Basel. He undertook further studies with Homero Francesch, Lazar Berman, Andrzej Jasinski, Maurizio Pollini and Andràs Schiff.