piano & composition
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Born in Switzerland in 1994 in a musical family, Mélodie Zhao is one of the most talented musicians of the youngest generation. She started the piano at two and a half and broke world records by recording the summits of piano repertoire "Chopin's 24 Études" at 13 and "Beethoven's Complete Piano Sonatas" at 19.
At 9 she entered the Geneva Music Conservatory to study with Mayumi Kameda and at 13 the Geneva Music University where she received the Bachelor and Soloist Master degrees at 16 in the class of Pascal Devoyon. She then followed her professor to Berlin where she is presently based and obtained a second Master at the University of Arts. She also received lessons from Paul Badura-Skoda in Paris and Vienna.
Mélodie Zhao is accustomed to the stage since the age of 6. She played with major orchestras such as the Moscow Tchaikovsky Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Zürcher Kammerorchester, China National, Shanghai Philharmonic etc. the conductors Vladimir Fedoseyev, Michail Jurowski, Gustav Kuhn, Muhai Tang etc. and performed worldwide in prestigious concert halls such as Tonhalle Zurich, NCPA Beijing, Victoria Hall Geneva, Theatre du Châtelet Paris, LAC Lugano and the festivals of Merano, Budapest, New Ross, Gstaad, Palermo, Valldemossa, Tiroler Festspiele, Davos etc.
In parallel, Mélodie Zhao began to study composition at 15 with Jean-Claude Schlaepfer in Geneva and Nicolas Bacri in Brussels. She regularly receives orders from orchestras and troupes such as Rudra Béjart Ballet or China National Opera. Her style goes from neo-baroque to minimalistic and she recently started to explore film music in several collaborations with her filmmaker sister Cadenza. Her works include chamber, orchestral and religious music, as well as solo piano pieces where she often brings the virtuosity to a challenging level. In 2019 she founds her own ensemble « Bluefire » based in Berlin, which performs with her in special concert projects combining classics and Mélodie’s own compositions and arrangements.
She regularly conducts orchestras from the piano in many major piano concertos (Chopin 1 and 2, Beethoven Choral Fantasy etc.) as well as her own compositions and took conducting lessons from Mischa Damev in Zurich and Yi Zhang in Beijing.
Her discography includes:
- Chopin 24 Études (independent/Claves 2008)
- Liszt Études d’exécution transcendante (Claves 2011)
- Beethoven Complete Piano Sonatas (10 CDs box, Claves 2014)
- Tchaikovsky Concertos 1 & 2 (Michail Jurowski, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Claves 2015)
- Album “Wanderer” with works of Schubert, Bach/Busoni, Chopin and Liszt (NCPA 2018).
She has an ongoing recording of the Complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas with the Chinese virtuoso Feng Ning. In October 2019, she is invited to record two piano concertos of Kurt Leimer with Howard Griffith and the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie for Sony Classics.
As a millennial, Mélodie Zhao is present on the social networks and shows regularly quality videos on platforms like YouTube. These include innovative and modern music videos combining fashion, cinema, inspiring scripts and set design among others, as well as one-shot and live video recordings. Her goal is to present a different image of classical music in order to reach more people of her generation, using ways that they are familiar with and by expressing through her art powerful messages inspired by our time.