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Zhang Shengliang (aka Niu Niu)

 

Niu Niu was born Zhang Shengliang in 1997 into a musical family in Xiamen. After showing talent at age 3, Niu Niu initially studied piano with his father, later making his recital debut at age 6. At age 8, he became the youngest student ever enrolled in the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Since age 10, Niu Niu has studied with Hung-Kuan Chen, and he was admitted by New York’s Juilliard School in 2014 with full scholarship and has graduated in
2018.


At age 9, Niu Niu was the youngest pianist ever signed to an international classical label, EMI Classics, and has released seven albums up until now, including the latest album by Decca Classics after signing with Universal Music Hong Kong in December 2017 — Liszt · Chopin · Schubert · Mendelssohn (recorded in Berlin) — released in 2018.
 

Niu Niu’s career highlights include the 2007 Pearl Awards at London’s Royal Festival Hall, performing Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.1 conducted by his mentor Leslie Howard in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. In 2009, he became the youngest pianist to have a solo recital at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. In October 2010 in Berlin, Niu Niu was named the youngest
laureate of the 2010 PRIX Montblanc award, which is given annually to emerging classical music instrumentalists. In 2012, as the first laureate of the Artemisia Foundation, he made his debuts in Boston’s Jordan Hall and Yale University’s Sprague Hall. In 2017, Niu Niu was invited to perform for the presidents of China, Russia, India, Brazil, and South Africa during the BRICS summit evening gala.

 

Niu Niu dubbed the piano performance of the manga character Wei Pang, in NHK’s animated version of Piano no Mori (“Forest of Piano”) in 2018–19. The animation was broadcasted by Netflix worldwide and has helped develop the appreciation for classical music and drawn a bigger young audience to Niu Niu’s piano music. As part of the campaign in support of his new album Fate & Hope, Niu Niu embarks on a nation-wide tour in Japan in 2021, followed by a world concert tour in the 21/22 season.

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