Kevin Zhu, Violin

American violinist Kevin Zhu has amassed an outstanding record of concert performances and competition wins since he began playing violin at age three. Praised for his “awesome technical command and maturity” (The Strad) and “absolute virtuosity, almost blinding in its incredible purity” (L’ape musicale), Kevin has performed on the world’s largest stages, ranging from the Konzerthaus Berlin to London’s Royal Festival Hall to the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. Initially coming to international attention after winning the 2018 Paganini Competition and 2012 Yehudi Menuhin Competition, he has established himself as a leading figure among the next generation of musicians, astonishing audiences with his peerless technical mastery and inimitable artistic voice.

In the 2022-23 season, Kevin makes concerto debuts with the Des Moines Symphony and at the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, and performs the complete 24 Paganini Caprices at the Dresdner Musikfestspiele in Germany and at Singapore’s Victoria Hall. Kevin makes his Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center recital debut with a program inspired by ballet and opera masterpieces.

Recent performing highlights include concerts on Paganini’s famed violin ‘Il Cannone’, concerto appearances in Gdańsk and at the historic Reggia di Caserta in Italy, and recitals in Santiago de Chile and Montréal’s Salle Bourgie. Kevin is also a passionate chamber musician, collaborating frequently with artists such as Louis Lortie, Lawrence Power, and Jan Vogler.

In addition to his endeavors on stage, Kevin serves as a Culture Ambassador of the Lin Yao Ji Music Foundation of China. He has been featured on ABC Eyewitness News, BBC Radio 3, and RAI Radio 3, and is the recipient of a 2021 Avery Fisher Career Grant and Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant. 

Kevin holds a Bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Itzhak Perlman and Li Lin. Kevin performs on the c1722 “Lord Wandsworth” Antonio Stradivari violin, which is on loan from the Ryuji Ueno Foundation and Rare Violins In Consortium, Artists and Benefactors Collaborative.