Niu Niu Delivers Amazing Performance with Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra

By David Li,

Boston, March 14, 2014, — Niu Niu made his debut performance as an International Concert Artist (ICA) contract pianist in Balgrade, Serbia on March 7. His performance with Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the finest in the country, drew rave reviews from critics and standing ovation from the audience.
Niu Niu also showed his violin skills at the concert with Maestro Tang at the piano(photos provided by Zhang Changfeng).

Niu Niu is the affectionate nickname and performing identity of Zhang Shengliang. The young Chinese concert pianist was born on July 11, 1997, in Xiamen, Fujian province, China into a musical environment and showed his talent at the age of three. Niu Niu received his first lessons from his father Zhang Changfeng. He is a student at Walnut Hill School in Natick Mass., and study under the guidance of Professor Hungkuan Chen of New England Conservatory in Boston.
Niu Niu with Ivan Tasovac, Serbian Culture Minister in Belgrade.

A Belgrade local newspaper Danas Daily describes Niu Niu’s performance as below:

“This excitement of his immediately grabs you by the throat and heart from the first moment. A real drama of titans in the swirl of the orchestra, transformed into wistfulness for brief periods of time, and then again into an array of heroic exclamations, making up a splendidly catalysed ground for the refined sound of the soloist nicknamed Niu Niu. Rich in inner content, this young lad is astonishingly absorbed in the metaphysical aspect of the composition, stimulating aqueducts of contemplations, until he turns it all into a landscape of polished thriving, a true garden of light with meticulously separated fibres of insight into the composer’s score. …… As the applause boils down around him, Niu Niu plays Liszt and Chopin, before he takes the violin, with Maestro Tang at the piano, to express his multi-instrumental skills. Amazing, one of the kind!”

In late 2013, 16-year-old Niu Niu became one the youngest musicians ever signed by ICA. He will perform around the world at the finest music halls with world-famous symphony orchestras over next few years.

“We really appreciate that ICA showed how much they wanted to sign Niu Niu during the process, ” said Zhang Changfeng Zhang.

“I want to use my music to bring people together, and make the world a more peaceful place,” said Niu Niu during a short interview at his home in January 2014. Niu Niu looked relaxed after finishing his college applications.

The following is a short video of Niu Niu practicing piano at home.

Niu Niu made his concert debut in August 2003, a few weeks after his sixth birthday. His program included a Mozart piano sonata and a Chopin étude. Soon after this he moved to Shanghai, where the Shanghai Conservatory of Music invited him to enroll. Aged just eight, he became the youngest ever student in its 85-year history.

In August 2006, he gave a recital in the Wigmore Hall in London, and in November 2007 he was again invited to London to perform Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 at the 2007 Pearl Awards, conducted by his coach and mentor Leslie Howard. The concert was held in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, who spoke very enthusiastically about Niu Niu afterwards.

In 2007, Niu Niu, at age 9, became the youngest pianist ever to sign an exclusive recording contract with an international classical label – EMI Classics. In July 2008, EMI released Niu Niu’s debut album, “NiuNiu plays Mozart.”