Ziyu Liu

China  I  Age 24

When he was a child, Ziyu Liu’s parents discovered that he could memorize melodies of songs and play them, without any instruction, on their electric keyboard. They bought him a piano, and he started learning on his own. At the age of 11, he decided that he wanted to become a professional pianist because of the joy he got from communicating with others through music.

He entered the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing at the age of 12 and—feeling he started later than his contemporaries—studied intensively. He moved to Germany in 2015 to study with Ewa Kupiec at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover, where he remains today under the tutelage of Arie Vardi. In 2019, he went to three competitions (Viotti, Singapore, Cantù) and took home top prizes at each of them.

Ziyu has performed in many countries, including Austria, Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Netherlands, China, and Singapore; in concert venues such as the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Warsaw Philharmonie, National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Weimarhalle, Sota Concert Hall in Singapore, and Shanghai Concert Hall; and at the Kissinger Sommer, Weimar Music, and Coburg Music Festivals.

The Jinan, China, native also enjoys giving lectures on composers, sharing his passion for understanding “the story behind the notes.” He calls participation in the Cliburn his dream since childhood: “I want to bring love, friendship to people through this wonderful platform in this difficult time.”


Preliminary Round

SCHUBERT Drei Klavierstücke, D. 946
BARTÓK Sonata, Sz. 80
HOUGH Fanfare Toccata

Quarterfinal Round

SCHUMANN Humoreske in B-flat Major, op. 20
RAVEL La valse

Semifinal Round – Recital

SCHUBERT Impromptu in F Minor, D. 935, no. 1
MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition
GINASTERA Sonata No. 1, op. 22

Semifinal Round – Mozart concerto

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

Final Round – Concerto I

BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, op. 58

Final Round – Concerto II

TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, op. 23