Increasingly sought-after as a musical partner, pianist You Zhao is establishing herself as a versatile and active collaborator in instrumental, vocal and orchestra music. A member of the National Music Honors Society, Pi Kappa Lambda. Dr Zhao’s strong passion and interest in musical collaboration has led her to enjoy a broad musical career. She is in high demand as a collaborative pianist working with singers and instrumentalists, and has made appearances in concert venues and music festivals in Europe, North America and China. She was a piano fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. Other summer festival experience includes the Franz-Schubert-Institut, Songfest and Beijing International Music Festival and Academy. Dr. Zhao was a staff pianist at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and New England Conservatory Preparatory School and School of Continuing Education. She also played for numerous master classes, including those of Elly Ameling, Julius Drake, Margo Garrett, Midori Goto, Graham Johnson, Martin Katz, Roger Vignoles as well as many other eminent artists. Her commitment to community engagement has led to collaborations with the Nashville Opera, where she served as music director, accompanist, and tour manager for the 2022 Mary Ragland Emerging Artist Program.
An advocate for new music, Dr. Zhao has been on the creative teams for several new works. She worked with the New Opera West (Los Angeles) and gave local performances to promote new operatic works. She also enjoys working with composers as an orchestral pianist. Her recent collaboration with the American composer Nicolas Lell Benavides in making a digital album of the comedic opera, Pepito, is now available on major music services.
Dr. Zhao remains committed to propagating Chinese culture through music making. In collaboration with Chinese composer, Hanbo Ma, and poet, Meng Meng Chen, she recorded two original Chinese art songs, 《Piano Language》 and 《New Year’s Eve》as a singer. Their recordings have been very well received by Western and Chinese media.
A current faculty at the La Cañada School of Music, Dr. Zhao is a passionate piano instructor. She provides both in person and remote private instructions for students of all ages and abilities. During her years of teaching, she always includes various teaching methodologies and tailors her teaching styles to meet the needs of every individual.
Dr. Zhao came to the States in 2013 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Music (Piano Performance). She holds a master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, New York), a Graduate Diploma from New England Conservatory of Music (Boston, Massachusetts), and Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Keyboard Collaborative Arts from the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California (Los Angeles, California), where she worked as a teaching assistant and a recipient of the Gwendolyn Koldofsky Scholarship, Keyboard Collaborative Arts Ensemble Awards and USC Keyboard Collaborative Arts Departmental Awards.