Nov 28, 2017: Zhou nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for his Concerto for Orchestra. The recording (The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Louis Langrée, conductor) was nominated for Best Orchestral Performance. The award ceremony will take place on Jan 28, 2018 in New York City.
“Stunning,” “tonal and engaging” —The Cincinnati Enquirer
“He is unafraid of monumental gestures, but at the same time he wastes nothing, whether notes or our time itself. There are always touches of fine craftsmanship...The strings' luster made me wish I could stop writing and just listen.” —American Record Guide
Award-winning violinist Chloë Hanslip performs Zhou’s Violin Concerto with the Reno Philharmonic conducted by Music Director Laura Jackson in the orchestra’s 2017-18 Season Opener. Oct 1, 3, 2017. Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, Reno, Nevada. | LISTEN
Taos Chamber Music Group opens 25th season with Zhou’s Viaje, performed by The American String Quartet and Nancy Laupheimer. Sep 30, Oct 1, 2017. | WATCH
Viaje for flute and strings performed by Mimi Stillman aired on America’s most popular classical music radio program, Performance Today™, hosted by Fred Child on Sep 15, 2017. | WATCH
Zhou “rewarded with a standing ovation” (The Columbus Dispatch)for his “Grand Canal,” performed by The Columbus Symphony and Music Director Rossen Milanov in the orchestra’s East Meets West Festival at Ohio Theatre in Columbus, OH. The 6-movement, 30-minute work celebrates one of the oldest and longest man-made waterways in the world, the Grand Canal of China, through a mosaic of sounds, old and new, and by mixing two traditional Chinese instrumentalists (erhu and ruan) and a Chinese opera singer/narratorwith a full symphony orchestra. The piece was previously performed during a nationally televised celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and its recording highlighted at MIDEM 2010 in Cannes, France. (5/2017) | LISTEN
Zhou’s “Broken Ink,” a 30-minute, multi-movement meditation on Song Dynasty poetry, receives its US premiere by Princeton Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Rossen Milanov and attended by a delegation from China Federation of Literacy and Art Circles. “The music was lush, much like a flowing river, and it was clear from the outset that Zhou has a good ear for the orchestral palette,” writes Princeton Town Topics. Zhou’s residency also includes performances of his “Red Trees, Wrinkled Cliffs” led by award-winning guitarist Robert Belinić. (5/2017) | LISTEN
INNOVA Records releases Zhou’s Morning after the Deluge for clarinet, piano and string quartet in Music Here & Now, an album commissioned by the award-winning Society for New Music (New York) and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. “The work was inspired by a landscape painting by William Turner. The shifting landscape dissolving into layers of mist against a rising sun inspired me to design the same for the music.” (4/2017) | LISTEN
Petals of Fire premieres at 2017 CBDNA National Conference at the Kauffman Center in Kansas City, Missouri, by the Michigan State University Wind Symphony, conducted by Music Director Kevin Sedatole. (3/2017) | WATCH
Mimi Stillman and Chamber Orchestra First Editions conducted by artistic director James Freeman give Philadelphia premiere of Viaje for flute and strings at Trinity Center. “Zhou Tian's Viaje fused the composer's Chinese American sensibility with the lore of ancient Spain so convincingly that the exotic flute solos for Stillman sounded like the most natural thing in the world.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer| WATCH
Dublin Premiere: RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jiamin Song gives European premiere of Zhou’s The Grand Canal, featuring two Chinese traditional instruments, Chinese opera singer/narrator and full orchestra, at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland. (2/2017) | LISTEN
Cincinnati Symphony led by music director Louis Langrée releases Zhou’s Concerto for Orchestra in the latest recording, along with works by Thierry Escaich and Sebastian Currier.
“Stunning,” “tonal and engaging, it was an ambitious showpiece in four symphonic movements.” —The Cincinnati Enquirer
“He is unafraid of monumental gestures, but at the same time he wastes nothing, whether notes or our time itself. There are always touches of fine craftsmanship. The strings' luster made me wish I could stop writing and just listen.” —American Record Guide
Spokane Symphony led by music director Eckart Preu performs A Thousand Years of Good Prayers in a program of Chou Wen-chong, Chen Yi, and Mozart at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, Spokane, WA. | LISTEN
Curtis On Tour (2016), featuring Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux, violinist Nigel Armstrong, violist and president Roberto Díaz, and cellist Jean Kim, performs Zhou’s commissioned work Red Trees, Wrinkled Cliffs in Athens, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. | WATCH
Zhou’s “JOY” premieres at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing at Morningside Music Bridge, Canada’s internationally recognized professional music program. The vibrant, virtuosic work for string orchestra, conducted by Earl Lee, was commissioned by MMB for its 20th Anniversary. | LISTEN
Zhou’s Concerto for Orchestra, described as “Stunning,” “tonal and engaging,” (the Cincinnati Enquirer) premieres at the Cincinnati Symphony’s 2015-16 Season Finale conducted by Music Director Louis Langrée. | Clips & Reviews
The Saginaw Bay Symphony (MI) conducted by Laura Jackson performs Zhou’s The Palace of Nine Perfections in a program of Brahms Symphony No. 3 and Strauss Der Rosenkavalier suite at the Temple Theater. (Photo: Mark Clague) | LISTEN
Zhou appointed Associate Professor of Composition at Michigan State University College of Music, starting fall 2016. Press
Flutist Mimi Stillman and Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle conducted by Lorenzo Muti premiere Zhou's Viaje (version for flute and strings) at Carolina Theatre in Durham, NC. | WATCH
Grammy-nominated violinist Caroline Goulding and San Luis Obispo Symphony (CA) led by Laura Jackson perform Zhou's Violin Concerto "The Infinite Dance" in a program of Ravel Mother Goose Suite and Beethoven Symphony No. 7. | LISTEN
Grammy-nominated violinist Caroline Goulding premieres Zhou’s Violin Concerto “The Infinite Dance” with Stewart Robertson and the Atlantic Classical Orchestra in Florida. Critics praise the virtuosic 25-minute work (an ACO commission) as “Masterful new concerto”,“the effect was magical” and “this is new music I’d love to hear again and again. It is a minor masterpiece.” | LISTEN
Asheville Symphony (NC) under music director Daniel Meyer performs Zhou’s “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers,” Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (Jeremy Denk), and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 in a program that "inspired by the beauty of the Earth, and how the special qualities of nature inspired composers to create works of unique beauty." | LISTEN
GRAMMY-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux and students of the Curtis Institute perform Red Trees, Wrinkled Cliffs in a special concert hosted by NPR’s Fred Child. The performance and interview are broadcast on America’s most popular classical music radio program Performance Today™. | WATCH
Renowned ensemble The Empire Brass premieres Zhou's Night-Shining White, commissioned by Colgate University, at Colgate (NY) and Concordia (MI) Universities. | LISTEN
Grammy-nominated Eroica Trio performs Zhou's "Trio" in New York, Florida and Georgia. | LISTEN
The Cincinnati Symphony conducted by Mei-Ann Chen premieres Zhou's "TRACE," a CSO commission. The 15-minute work, conceived to be a modern day Scheherazade, features prominent, heart-warming solos from the concertmaster and tells a fascinating story of a disappearing past. The Cincinnati Enquirer describes the work as “lush, neo-impressionistic,” and “one of the most creative – and most enjoyable – concerts heard at Music Hall this season…Zhou, 30, was present to receive the crowd’s warm applause.” | LISTEN
Curtis On Tour, featuring acclaimed violinist Soovin Kim, violist Roberto Díaz, Guitarist Jason Vieaux, and cellist John-Henry Crawford, performs Red Trees, Wrinkled Cliffs (a Curtis commission) in the ensemble's first Latin America Tour. Selected cities: San José, Costa Rica, Morelia, Mexico, São Paulo, Brazil. | WATCH
Pacific Record releases Zhou's Broken Ink, a 30-minute symphonic suite for full symphony orchestra commissioned by China's Federation of Literary and Art Circles. iTunes|Amazon| LISTEN
The Grand Canal Suite receives US premiere by Princeton Symphony under Rossen Milanov in the orchestra's 2012-13 season opening concert at Richardson Auditorium, Princeton. Commissioned by the city of Hangzhou in a cultural effort to promote the Grand Canal of China to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 30-minute work calls for two traditional Chinese instruments, Chinese opera narrator, and full orchestra.Read (The Star-Ledger). | LISTEN
The Houston Symphony under Christoph Köenig performs Zhou's "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers" in a program of Schubert Mass No. 3 and Brahms Symphony No. 2. "[An] evocative tone poem," writes Houston Chronicle. ConcertoNet writes "Zhou Tian's attractive A Thousand Years of Good Prayers effectively communicated the goals of the composer, which he eloquently and succinctly described from stage","the piece feels first and foremost like an honest musical utterance, which is important in today's day and age. This is an impressive essay from a 30-year old composer, and Zhou Tian is certainly a compositional voice to watch." | LISTEN
The Indianapolis Symphony performs Zhou's "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers" conducted by Christoph Eberle in a program of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 and Violin Concerto played by Joshua Bell. | LISTEN
Hong Kong Philharmonic led by Rossen Milanov performs Zhou's "The Palace of Nine Perfections" in a program of Dvorak’s "Nature, Life and Love" and Brahms Violin Concerto played by Vadim Repin. | LISTEN
Reno Philharmonic under music director Laura Jackson performs Zhou's "The Palace of Nine Perfections" in a program of Strauss Rosenkavalier Suite and Brahms Violin Concerto played by Rachel Barton Pine. | LISTEN
Zhou Tian's Grand Canal Symphonic Suite performed during a nationally televised celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Commissioned by the city of Hangzhou in a cultural effort to promote the Grand Canal of China to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the large-scale, 7-movement work calls for two Chinese instruments, Chinese opera narrator, mixed chorus and full orchestra. | LISTEN
China's leading label Pacific Records releases Zhou's "The Grand Canal," performed by Guangzhou Symphony with guest soloists, conducted by Zhou Tian. The work has been selected as one of the "100 Important Audio and Video Publications of 2009" by General Administration of Press and Publication of China, chosen as a theme at 2010 Shanghai World Expo, and exhibited at MIDEM 2010 in Cannes, France. iTunes|Amazon| LISTEN
Award-winning marimbist Pius Cheung performs Zhou’s "Blowing Westward" at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, and Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Meyer performs Zhou Tian's First Sight at Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh, PA. | LISTEN
The Minnesota Orchestra commissions Zhou for a new orchestral work in celebration of the orchestra's centennial. Zhou previously participated in the orchestra’s Composers Institute with his The Palace of Nine Perfections.
“Zhou's harmonic language and orchestration mix Ravel and Barber with a hint of his native China, albeit without the edgy grit of Chen Yi or flamboyant theatricality of Tan Dun. Still, the piece feels first and foremost like an honest musical utterance, which is important in today's day and age. Unabashedly tonal, with a true sense of tension and resolution, the arc of the piece convinces through and through. This is an impressive essay from a 30-year old composer, and Zhou Tian is certainly a compositional voice to watch. This was the one work where Koenig seem to bask in the sheer color of the orchestra, letting phrases linger nicely. The orchestra played with complete conviction and respect for a new score.”
Critically acclaimed for his lush and distinctive musical voice, Chinese-American composer Zhou Tian ( JOH TEE-en; Zhou is his last name) seeks inspiration from different cultures and strives to mix them seamlessly into a musically satisfying combination for performers and audience alike. Described as “absolutely beautiful” and “utterly satisfying” (Fanfare), his compositions have been performed by leading orchestras and performers in the United States and abroad. His recent work, Concerto for Orchestra—described as “stunning” and “tonal and engaging” (The Cincinnati Enquirer)—was commissioned, premiered and recorded by the Cincinnati Symphony and Music Director Louis Langrée. His large-scale suite for soloists, orchestra, and chorus, The Grand Canal, was performed during a nationally televised concert of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. He holds degrees from Curtis (B.M.), Juilliard (M.M.), and USC (D.M.A.), is associate professor of composition at Michigan State University College of Music.
“the solo violin plays with soaring melodic loveliness.
“the effect was magical.”
"This is new music I’d love to hear again and again. It is a minor masterpiece.”
— Palm Beach Arts Paper
“Not only masterfully crafted but a true masterpiece”
—Classical Voice of New England
—New York Concert Review
— Houston Chronicle
“The first half of the evening [at the Houston Symphony] was an unqualified success. Zhou Tian's attractive A Thousand Years of Good Prayers effectively communicated the goals of the composer, which he eloquently and succinctly described from stage. The simplicity of the piece's was what made it so appealing. The horns proclaim a disjunct melodic statement at the beginning of the work, featuring dissonant leaps and sharp dotted rhythms, and, over the ensuing ten minutes, Zhou proceeds to gradually smooth over these rough edges, ending in a serene cushion of string sound.”