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Zhou’s Concerto for Orchestra, described as “stunning,” “inspired,” and “tonal and engaging,” (Cincinnati Enquirer) premieres at the Cincinnati Symphony’s 2015-16 Season Finale conducted by Louis Langrée on May 13-14. The 32-minute work, a CSO commission, will be commercially released on an album on the orchestra’s label. Program. Q&A with Zhou.
(Photo: M Berneking)



The Saginaw Bay Symphony 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 in Saginaw, MI on May 7, 2016.
(Photo: Mark Clague)



Zhou appointed Associate Professor of Composition at Michigan State University College of Music, starting fall of 2016. Press TBA.



Canada’s internationally recognized music program Morningside Music Bridge commissions Zhou Tian for a new work for string orchestra to be premiered at MMB’s 20th Anniversary concert this summer at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing.



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, North Carolina on Feb 21, 2016. Press.



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 on Feb 6, 2016.



The Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra under Hong Yin performs The Grand Canal in a televised broadcast of the official announcement of the 2016 G-20 Summit in Hangzhou, China.



Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra perform Zhou’s chamber music in the Arts at the Alger Series at Grosse Pointe War Memorial, MI.



Viaje (trio version) premieres at Curtis Institute by Mimi Stillman, Gabriel Cabezas, and Charles Abramovic. WATCH



Flutist Mimi Stillman and Dover Quartet premiere Zhou’s Viaje” (journey), a Dolce Suono Ensemble commission for the “Música en tus Manos” project in Philadelphia. WATCH



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 (exp)



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."



Two large-scale symphonic suites by Zhou Tian, The Grand Canal and Broken Ink published by China’s leading music publishing house People's Music. Press



New York Society For New Music Presents 1938-2015: Seven Decades of World Music From Bartok to Zhou Tian. Program includes works by Bela Bartok, Olivier Messiaen, Lou Harrison, Douglas Cuomo and Zhou Tian.


Curtis20142B1 PerformanceToday2

GRAMMY-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux and students of the Curtis Institute perform Zhou's "Red Trees, Wrinkled Cliffs" in a special concert hosted by NPR’s Fred Child. The performance and interview will be broadcast on America’s most popular classical music radio program Performance Today™. WATCH (previously recorded version)



Renowned ensemble the Empire Brass premieres Zhou's "Night-Shining White," commissioned by Colgate University, at Colgate (NY) and Concordia (MI) Universities.


Eroica1 EroicaZhou6ed1

Grammy®-nominated Eroica Trio performs Zhou's "Trio" in New York, Florida and Georgia.



The Cincinnati Symphony conducted by Mei-Ann Chen premieres Zhou's "Poem from a Vanished Time," 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.”



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 preview performance at Curtis


The Great Wall Quartet wins Best Instrumental Performance; nominated for the Best Classical Album at the 2013 “Taiwan Grammy” – Taiwan Golden Melody Awards. The recording, released by ArchiMusic, includes Zhou Tian's String Quartet No. 2 "The Great Wall," written for the ensemble, and Schubert's String Quartet No. 14 "Der Tod und das Madchen". WATCH



Award-winning Dover Quartet performs Zhou’s String Quartets No. 1 and No. 2 at Colgate University


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. Available at iTunes, and 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 Hangzhou city government 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."


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.



Winston-Salem Symphony under Matthew Troy performs "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers" in a program of Mendelssohn Piano Concerto no. 1 played by Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 5.


Spokane Symphony Orchestra under music director Eckart Preu performs Zhou's "Pictures" in Spokane, WA.



Hawaii Symphony under Sarah Hicks performs A Thousand Years of Good Prayers in a program of Arutunian Trumpet Concerto (Joe Burgstaller) and Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4 "Italian".



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.


Innova Recordings releases Zhou's Duet in "Odyssey: 11 American Premieres for Flute and Piano," featuring acclaimed flutist Mimi Stillman and pianist Charles Abramovic. The 2-CD collection also includes works by Richard Danielpour, David Ludwig, Mason Bates and more. Available on iTunes and Amazon



Curtis1Curtis Institute commissions Zhou for a new piece for Curtis On Tour, featuring Curtis President, violist Roberto Díaz, guitar faculty Jason Vieaux and current students.

UPDATE: Curtis On Tour premieres "Red Trees, Wrinkled Cliffs" in 15 American cities in the ensemble's North America Tour. WATCH


Zhou Tian joins the
faculty at Colgate University as Assistant Professor of Music.




China's leading label Pacific Records releases "Tunes from China," a new commercial CD composed and produced by Zhou Tian, featuring award-winning cellist Xian Zhuo and Guangzhou Symphony. Available on iTunes and Store



NCPAhi1Beijing Premiere: Hangzhou Philharmonic performs Zhou's Grand Canal Symphonic Suite at National Centre for the Performing Arts.



item7Zhou Tian receives First Prize of ASCAP and Lotte Lehmann Foundation Art Songs Competition, commissioned for a song cycle to be published by E.C. Schirmer and premiered in three major American cities.


billycollins1Grammy award-winning label Cedille Records releases Zhou Tian's new work in "The Billy Collins Suite," the first CD devoted to musical settings of poems by the popular U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. Available on iTunes and Amazon.

Update: The Billy Collins Suite named Chicago Tribune's CD OF THE WEEK. LISTEN



Green Bay Symphony under Christoph Campestrini premieres Composer-in-Residence Zhou Tian's "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers," to which Green Bay Press-Gazette writes "an appealing work that expresses an outlook on life in a story-like way….[Conductor] Campestrini called Zhou to the stage to collect his standing ovation..." New Music Box.


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 Hangzhou city government 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. The Grand Canal successfully became a World Heritage Site in 2014. LISTEN / WATCH


GrandCanalCD1China's top label Pacific Records releases Zhou's "Grand Canal Suite," performed by Guangzhou Symphony with guest soloists. Press

Available from Store (CD) and iTunes

UPDATE: The Grand Canal Suite 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.

navCHLogoonAward-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.

Clarinetist/conductor Eugene Pook premieres Zhou's "Unheard Wishes" at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.



Zhou receives First Prize in Washington International Competition for Composers. Established in 1976, the composers competition is held every 3 years. Zhou’s winning work, [piano] Trio, was performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.



The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Meyer performs Zhou Tian's "First Sight" at Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh, PA.


item9The Minnesota Orchestra commissions Zhou for a new orchestral work in celebration of the orchestra's centennial.

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Excerpt from "Music" for Orchestra
Yumi Kendall, cello

©Curtis Inst. of Music, Zhou Tian Music (ASCAP)

Described as “absolutely beautiful” and “utterly satisfying” (Fanfare), Chinese-American composer Zhou Tian's ( JOH TEE-en) works have been commissioned and performed by major orchestras in the United States and abroad, including the Cincinnati Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Houston Symphony, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic, and by leading soloists and ensembles such as pianist Yuja Wang, violist Roberto Díaz, guitarist Jason Vieaux, violinist Caroline Goulding, flutist Jeffrey Khaner, the Eroica Trio, the Arditti and Dover string quartets, the Empire Brass, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. His newest work, Concerto for Orchestra, commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, will receive its premiere under music director Louis Langrée in the orchestra's 2015-16 season finale.



Listen & Watch





“Absolutely beautiful”

“utterly satisfying”


“Masterful new [violin] concerto.”

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

“Lush, neo-impressionistic”

—Cincinnati Enquirer

“Not only masterfully crafted but a true masterpiece”

—Classical Voice of New England


—New York Concert Review


— Houston Chronicle


thoroughly successful”


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.


“Delicate, lyrical, and beautiful”

—Classical Candor


— Vero News

“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.