TYLER, TX (KLTV) - One of the world's best Concert Pianists is coming to Tyler. Haochen Zhang plays with the East Texas Symphony Orchestra Saturday night.
He is the youngest to win the prestigious Van Cliburn Competition. Last year, he took the gold at only 19 years old.
Haochen Zhang has been tickling the ivories in front of amazed audiences since his first recital when he was five years old. His command of nuance has had him pulling up a bench with the Philadelphia, New Jersey, Shanghai and China National Orchestras. He plays Bach to Mozart to everything in between.
"I was about three years and nine months old…I just felt piano was very accessible to me and I felt I could learn piano very fast," he said.
When he won the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition he had mixed feelings. "I feel very lucky that the jury awarded me the first prize…but I can't say that I'm 100% happy," Haochen said.
Haochen feels piano is not traditionally a competition. He knows everyone has worked just as hard as he has.
Nancy Wrenn, the Executive Director of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, is thrilled he is performing. "We're really delighted that we have the opportunity to hear this young man and have him work with our orchestra," she stated.
Haochen is grateful for the boost Van Cliburn has given him. "Definitely gave me the opportunity to realize my dream," he said. "You give what you have to the next generation. You offer what you can offer so the great tradition of classical arts can be carried on.
One day he hopes to be in the same position.
You can see him Saturday at 7:30 at the U.T. Cowan Center. Tickets are still on sale and range from $10-$60. You can also meet him at the Tyler Library Friday at noon. He won't be playing there, but you can ask him a question or two if you like.