photo: Phil Channing

photo: Phil Channing

Pianist Zhu Wang will perform in recital on tour in February and March 2018 in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Chicago, and New York City

Santa Barbara, CA — The Music Academy of the West proudly presents its inaugural Solo Piano Competition Winner Recital Tour in partnership with Steinway & Sons, starring 2017 competition winner Zhu Wang. Academy solo piano fellows performed for a panel of esteemed judges including guest composer and pianist Timo Andres, Carnegie Hall Director of Artistic Planning Jeremy Geffen, and Steinway & Sons Manager of Concert and Artist Services Benjamin Salisbury. The winner received The Luria Foundation Prize of $5,000, and will embark on a national recital tour which includes stops in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles at the Steinway Showroom (Sunday, February 25, 2 pm), Santa Barbara at Hahn Hall on the campus of the Music Academy of the West  (Monday, February 26, 7 pm), Chicago at the Chicago Cultural Center as part of the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series (Wednesday, February 28, 12:15 pm), and New York City’s Steinway Hall (Saturday, March 3,  7 pm). The Chicago recital will be broadcast live by WFMT 98.7 FM and streamed live at

In addition to the award and performances, the Solo Piano Competition winner will receive musical preparation and coaching from the Academy faculty artists, a consultation with New York-based communications firm 21C Media Group, a professional photo session, and the opportunity to receive innovation funding to support artistic or creative endeavors associated with the recital program.

Zhu Wang, the 2017 winner of the competition, will perform a program including the world premiere of a piece written by 2017 Music Academy guest composer and competition juror Timo Andres titled Moving Études. The work was commissioned for the Music Academy’s Commissions and Premieres Program with the support of the Luria Foundation and was composed with the winner in mind. Admission for these events will be free in Los Angeles, Chicago, and NYC, and affordably priced at $10 in Santa Barbara, with 7-17 year olds admitted free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Tickets go on sale to the general public on January 9. The competition and recital tour has been generously supported by the Luria Foundation and Steinway & Sons.

About the Partnership with Steinway & Sons

The Music Academy has achieved All-Steinway distinction, denoting a permanent collection of 55 Steinway pianos on the Music Academy campus, including a new Hamburg model D concert grand piano for use in the Academy’s exquisite concert venue, Hahn Hall. Music Academy faculty artist Jeremy Denk made the Hamburg model selection at the factory in Germany this past December. This distinction was the theme of the Academy’s 70th Anniversary Gala on May 21, 2017, where the Hamburg was debuted in a performance by Steinway artists Yuja Wang and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. As an All-Steinway school, the Academy has joined the ranks of music schools and conservatories that demonstrate a full commitment to excellence by providing their students and faculties with the best instruments possible. That is why the only pianos owned by the Music Academy now and in perpetuity — from the practice room to the recital hall — are designed by Steinway & Sons. An instrument fund has been initiated that will provide funding for the maintenance and replacement of the pianos in the years to come, preserving the legacy of high quality on the entire Music Academy campus. The Solo Piano Competition and recital tour, which features recital performances in Steinway venues, is the first-ever collaboration with Steinway & Sons and an institution of this nature, and a true testament to the established partnership.

About the Solo Piano Competition Winner

Wang, Zhu - Solo Piano 2017.jpg

Pianist Zhu Wang, 20, Born in Yueyang, China, is earning his bachelor’s degree at The Juilliard School studying with Robert McDonald. Mr. Wang started learning the piano at the age of five, and graduated from a music middle school affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music from 2009-2016, where he studied with Dr. Zhe Tang.  Zhu Wang has been awarded many prizes including first prize at both the Second Zhuhai International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians and Hilton Head International Young Artist Piano Competition, special prizes for the best Mazurka, Waltz, and Preludes performances at the Fifth International Chopin Young Artist Piano Competition, first prize at the Second Chopin International Piano Competition in Mongolia, and first prize at the 16th Asian Chopin International Piano Competition in Japan. Mr. Wang has appeared in many concert venues in both the United States and China, including Shanghai Concert Hall and Shanghai Grand Theater, and has performed with Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, San Juan Symphony, Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, and Mongolian Philharmonic Orchestra. Zhu Wang has performed in masterclasses for Murray Perahia, Abbey Simon, Gary Graffman, Nelita True, Boris Slutsky, and Fou Ts'ong. 

About the Music Academy of the West

The Music Academy of the West is among the nation’s preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted, young, classically-trained musicians. At its ocean-side campus in Santa Barbara, the Academy provides these musicians with the opportunity for advanced study and performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists. Admission to the Academy is strictly merit based, and fellows receive full scholarships (tuition, room, and board). The Academy’s distinguished teaching artists roster has included famed soprano Lotte Lehmann, composers Darius Milhaud and Arnold Schoenberg, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, pianist Jeremy Denk, and current Voice Program Director Marilyn Horne. Academy alumni are members of major symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, opera companies, and university and conservatory faculties throughout the world. Many enjoy careers as prominent solo artists. In 2014 the Music Academy entered into a four-year partnership with the New York Philharmonic, resulting in unprecedented training and performance opportunities for Academy fellows, and Summer Festival residencies for Philharmonic musicians. The Music Academy of the West cultivates discerning, appreciative, and adventurous audiences, presenting more than 200 public events annually, many free of charge. These include performances by faculty, guest artists, and fellows; masterclasses; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and a fully staged opera. The 2018 Summer School and Festival will take place from June 18 to August 12 at the Academy’s scenic Miraflores campus and in venues throughout Santa Barbara. For more information, visit

Recital Tour Program

California and New York City

BACH Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (transcription by Myra Hess)

BRAHMS Piano Pieces, Op. 119

NIKOLAI KAPUSTIN Variations, Op. 41

TIMO ANDRES Moving Études (world premiere, Music Academy of the West commission)

CHOPIN Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58

Program subject to change

PLEASE NOTE: The Chicago program will include selections from the above, but will be a reduced concert length.


Recital Tour Schedule

Sun, Feb 25, 2 pm

Steinway Piano Gallery, 8801 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, California

Free tickets required for admission, order online • 805-969-8787


Mon, Feb 26, 7 pm

Hahn Hall, 1070 Fairway Road, Santa Barbara, California

$10 / 7-17s Free • 805-969-8787


Wed, Feb 28, 12:15 pm

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert

Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street, Chicago

Free Admission / broadcast live by WFMT 98.7 FM and streamed live at • 312-670-6888


Sat, Mar 3, 7 pm

Steinway Hall, 1133 6th Avenue, New York, New York

Free tickets required for admission, order online • 805-969-8787


Released: January 2, 2018


Kate Oberjat
Director of Marketing and Communications
Music Academy of the West



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