Xiaolu Zang

China  I  Age 22

Born in Qinhuangdao, Xiaolu Zang was 4 years old when an electric keyboard caught his attention. He eventually attended the Beijing Central Music Conservatory Middle School for seven years under Professor Ye Lin and won first prizes in several major Chinese competitions. It was during that time, at the age of 15, that he recalls a singular day when he determined himself to become a professional musician. That commitment took him to Germany in 2017, where he studies with Arie Vardi at Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover.

Xiaolu has done well at international contests, including winning first prize at the Verona and Mayenne (France) Competitions, and strong showings at the Busoni, Leeds, Queen Elisabeth, and Hamamatsu Competitions. He performed numerous concerts in China, Germany, Japan, Austria, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Dubai. His strong interest in collaboration led to his work with the Staatsballett Hannover in 2020, playing both of Chopin’s piano concertos with the Staatsorchester Hannover in its special production about the life of choreographer Nijinsky.

Growing up in China and living five years in Europe now, Xiaolu visited the United States three times prior to the Cliburn and is looking forward to more time here. He finds experiencing different cultures to be key to artistic development, noting: “The essence of all kinds of music is to move people, to let one think, to mark the victory of humanity. The way we achieve it should not be the same, just like what Feruccio Busoni said, ‘Music is born free.’”


Preliminary Round

SCHUMANN Humoreske in B-flat Major, op. 20
SCRIABIN Sonata No. 4 in F-sharp Major, op. 30
HOUGH Fanfare Toccata

Quarterfinal Round

SCHUBERT Sonata in C Minor, D. 958
RAVEL La valse

Semifinal Round – Recital

BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 28 in A Major, op. 101
SCHUBERT Impromptu in C Minor, D. 899, no. 1
JANÁČEK Sonata 1.X.1905 (“From the Street”)
PROKOFIEV Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major, op. 83

Semifinal Round – Mozart concerto

MOZART Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488

Final Round – Concerto I

CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, op. 11

Final Round – Concerto II

PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, op. 16