InstantEncore
Biography

Award winning Zhou Yi is the best known young pipa (lute) artist in the world. She is a rising-star and an extremely gifted virtuoso pipa performer.

 

As a child prodigy, Zhou Yi started to learn music at the age of five and gave her first public recital at six. She trained for four years on the pipa before enrolling in the elementary school of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, similar to the Julliard School of Music in New York City. Two pipa students, out of thousands, were selected for the position in the school. At the age of eight, she won the first prize of the Shanghai Spring Music Festival. At twelve years old, she claimed the Outstanding Performance Award of the Art Cup international Chinese traditional instruments contest. At the age of sixteen, her music was recorded and published by New Era Sound & Video Company of Guangzhou and Nanjing Video Publishing House of China. These recordings are used for future generations of music students to study as ideal renditions of these pieces.

 

After graduating with a BFA in music from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Zhou Yi moved to New York and has been heard in various venues throughout the United States. She has performed in places such as Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, John Hancock Hall, Pickman Concert Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has also played in New York University, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, the Peabody Conservatory of Music, the Eastman School of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music and the Longy School of Music. Zhou Yi has delighted audiences in the "Peony Pavilion", "The Orphan of Zhao" and "Ghost Lovers" with the Lincoln Center Festival, the Asia Society's "Wen Ji: Eighteen Songs of Nomad Flute", and has been heard at the Shen Wei Dance Arts' "Second Visit to the Empress". She has performed at the Spoleto Festival, USA in 2002 and 2004, and the ADF Festival in 2005.

 

As a concert soloist, Zhou Yi has toured Europe, Asia and North America. Her performances include Young People’s Concert with the New York Philharmonic, Tan Dun's Concerto for Pipa and String Orchestra at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig Germany, Bun-Ching Lam's Pipa Concerto "Song of the Pipa" with the New York Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and "Sisters of the Grassland" with the Ohio Youngstown Symphony Orchestra. Pro Musicis's "Snow Of June", the solo recital of contemporary music in the Renee Weiler Concert Hall, NYC, the 2006 Alaska CrossSound Music Festival and the 2007 Bowling Green New Music & Art Festival. In 2008, Zhou Yi was selected as the featured pipa-ist for the Spoleto Festival's premiere show, Monkey: Journey To The West. She collaborated with Damon Albarn (Gorillaz/Blur).

 

Her playing has been praised for its meticulous technique and expressiveness. She has been singled out as a young performer of notable musical talent. The Boston Globe wrote: "...She has an impressive command of the instrument and of a broad range of its classical, folk, and modern musical literatures..." and The New York Concert Review said: "...Her subtle string work made an artistic effect..."

 

Zhou Yi is a co-founder of the Ba Ban Chinese Music Society of New York. She also plays the qin (zither), liuqin (high pitched lute), ruan (alto lute), sanxian (three stringed lute) as well as the western instrument – piano. Zhou Yi currently resides in New York City.

InstantEncore