Waterfront Hall (to 1.30pm, no interval) £12/£10/£5†
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Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op.101
Brahms: Variations on a theme of Paganini, Op.35
Chopin: Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise, Op.22
In 2018, Lauren Zhang won the BBC Young Musician Competition in her home town of Birmingham. Her performance of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mark Wigglesworth was broadcast live on BBC4 and BBC Radio 3 to widespread critical acclaim. Following her success in the competition, Lauren has been invited to perform at the BBC Proms with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Proms in the Park with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and is in demand as soloist throughout the UK and further afield.
Future highlights include concerto performances with London Mozart Players, the European Union Chamber Orchestra and Brno Philharmonic. She gives recitals at venues including Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, the Herkulessaal in Munich, and as part of the Ryedale, Wooburn and Lichfield Festivals.
In 2016, Lauren won first prize at the 15th Ettlingen International Piano Competition in Germany. Among other achievements, she was a prize-winner at the Wales International Piano Festival (2016) and the Young Pianist of the North International Competition (2015), and was awarded first prize in the EPTA-UK (18 and under) competition (2015), and first prize in the Emanuel Piano Trophy competition (2015).
Lauren studies piano with Dr Robert Markham in the Junior Department at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. She began piano lessons with Madeline Ignazito in the USA at the age of four, later moving to Birmingham where she is a pupil at the King Edward VI High School for Girls. In 2018, she achieved the top category in all of her eleven GCSEs.
Lauren has participated in masterclasses with Fabio Bidini, Peter Donohoe, Kalman Drafi, Pascal Nemirovski, Kenneth Hamilton, Lan Mi, and John Thwaites. She also receives guidance from Professor Christopher Elton. A keen chamber musician as pianist and violinist, Lauren has participated in and organised numerous charity concerts. Lauren is grateful for the support of YCAT through their aftercare scheme for BBC Young Musician finalists.
“Lauren Zhang’s power never let up, yet what most impressed was the magical delicacy of her playing in the softer passages” (BBC Young Musician final, The Times, May 2018)
“A superhuman display of keyboard virtuosity” (BBC Young Musician final, The Arts Desk, May 2018)
“Lauren owned [Prokofiev’s 2nd Piano Concerto] from the very first bars, revealing not only exceptional technically mastery but also acute musical intelligence and insight in a work of striking contrasts, substance and depth”. (BBC Young Musician final, The Cross-Eyed Pianist, May 2018)