Johann Zhao

Austria I Age 15

Salzburg-born Johann Zhao has five competition wins to his name in Austria, Czech Republic, and Germany, as well as a gold medal at the AADGT (American Association for Development of the Gifted and Talented) in 2017, which led to his Carnegie Hall debut. A student of Cordelia Höfer-Teutsch at the University Mozarteum Salzburg since 2013, he made his recital and concerto debuts in 2015 at Salzburg’s Summer Schlosskonzerte Mirabell. He has performed with the Bad Reichenhall Philharmonic and will perform with the Berliner Sinfonieorchester in Philharmonie in April. He is also a passionate chamber musician, a self-proclaimed YouTuber, runs marathons, sings in choir, and writes pop music.

“Through playing music, I came to understand the invisible world better, instead of relying on perception only. I am interested also in religion and history, and it seems to me that every religious movement or political change has always been accompanied by making music to awake emotion.”

Competitor Profile


Preliminary Round
BACH Prelude and Fugue in G Major, BWV 860
LISZT La campanella from Paganini Etudes
SHOSTAKOVICH Prelude and Fugue in D-flat Major, op. 87, no. 15
PROKOFIEV Toccata, op. 11

Quarterfinal Round

MOZART Sonata No. 18 in D Major, K. 576 (I)

CHOPIN Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, op. 60

BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 29 in B-flat Major, op. 106 (“Hammerklavier”) (I)

SCRIABIN Etude in D-sharp Minor, op. 8, no. 12


Semifinal Round

YIRUMA Kiss the Rain

BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, op. 57 (“Appassionata”)

SCHUMANN Toccata in C Major, op. 7

STRAVINSKY Etude in F-sharp Major, op. 7, no. 4

WEBER Perpetuum Mobile


Final Round

LISZT Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, S. 124