Only in his mid-20s, Haiou Zhang has received wide recognition by critics and audiences throughout Europe, the U.S., the Far East and his home base of Germany. Born in China, Haiou Zhang studied from 1994-2002 at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Since 2008, he has been studying with respected pedagogue Prof. Bernd Goetzke in Hanover. Haiou’s competition awards include Gold Medalist of the First National Piano-Duo Competition in China, Germany's prestigious Gundlach Music Prize and The International Vladimir Horowitz Piano Competition in Kiev. In the summer of 2010, an exclusive music festival designated ''Haiou Zhang International Music Festival Edition I'' was held in Buxtehude, Germany. Zhang celebrates the Liszt bicentenary in January 2011 with a new CD on Haenssler CLASSIC, followed by a concert tour of Germany. He also plans to record all the Beethoven works for piano and orchestra with the Heidelberg Symphony. Other future projects include Mozart and Mendelssohn piano concertos with the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra under Thomas Fey touring China and Brazil, his début with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra with Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No.3 in d minor, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 with the Warsaw Symphony Orchestra, Chopin piano Concerto No.1 with the Wuttembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, piano recital débuts at the Konzerthaus Berlin and the Festival International de Musique de Besançon in France.
Kerry Stratton - Conductor
In 2007 Maestro Stratton joined the ranks of renowned individuals to receive the Czech Republic's Gratias Agit Award for his significant contribution to promoting Czech culture. He has conducted orchestras in 27 countries throughout Europe, North America and Asia. His recordings, on Dorian, Hungaraton, and other labels include; the Moscow Symphony featuring music by Czech and Russian composers, Alan Hovhaness' Celestial Fantasy, with the Slovak Radio Orchestra, an all-Dvorak CD with the Prague Radio Orchestra, Liszt's De Profundis with the Hungarian State Symphony, and an all-Brahms CD with the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra. After a 22 year tenure as Conductor and Music Director of the Toronto Philharmonia Maestro Stratton now leads the Toronto Concert Orchestra as its Conductor and Music Director. He also founded and conducts the Grand Salon Orchestra, Canada's Palm Court Orchestra, which recreates the elegant salon era of the early 20th century. Through his International Touring Productions, he has introduced Canadian audiences to such renowned orchestras as Budapest's Georg Solti Orchestra, the Vienna Concert-Verein, the Czech Philharmonic, the Slovak Sinfonietta, and Orchestra Internationale d'Italia.
The Slovak Sinfonietta
The Slovak Sinfonietta of Zilina was founded in 1974. Many of the orchestra’s current 38 players are winners of international competitions. The Slovak Sinfonietta has performed more than 2,300 concerts across the globe and is one of only three orchestras, together with the Vienna and the Berlin Philharmonics, that appear annually at the Vienna Music Festivals. The orchestra performs mostly music from the late 18th and first half of the 19th centuries, but in its broad repertoire are 20th century works including jazz and popular music. As well, the orchestra reflects its origins by championing the work of such Slovak and Czech composers as Hummel, Vanhal, Suk and Dvorak. Recordings by The Slovak Sinfonietta are available on Opus, Donau, Naxos, Brilliant Classics and BMG music labels.