Zhilin Wang


Hometown: Beijing

Alma maters: Yale University School of Music; Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China

TŌN photo by Matt Dine


Awards/Competitions: Aldo Parisot Prize, 2016; 1st Prize, 2016 New England Youth Symphony International Solo Competition

Appearances: Bard Music Festival, 2017–18; Banff Chamber Music Residency, Canada 2014; Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, CT, 2014; Pacific Music Festival, Japan, 2010; Asian Youth Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong, 2009, 2011; Morningside Music Bridge, Canada, 2008

What is your earliest memory of classical music? I started learning the piano at age 5 and switched to the cello when I turned 7.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career? At 11 years old, I decided to apply to the Middle School of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China.

Who is your biggest inspiration? Mr. Aldo Parisot

Which composer do you feel you connect with the most? Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Richard Wagner are my favorite composers as of now.

Favorite non-classical musician or band: John Denver

If you could play another instrument, what would it be? Piano

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing? Regretting

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to and why? Cancun, Mexico. Unlimited sunlight, ocean view, breeze, food and cocktails!

Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with and why? John Denver, George Szell, and Haruki Murakami. My favorite singer, conductor, and writer.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us: I cook delicious Chinese food!

Piece of advice for a young classical musician: In the future, you will appreciate your hard practice now.