James Zhang, assistant principal violin, received his B.M. degree at Tianjin Conservatory of Music of China, where he also remained as a faculty member after graduating with honors. In the summer of 1986, he attended the Meadowmount School of Music under the sponsorship of Mrs. Galamian.
He began his graduate studies at Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Charles Treger, the first American to win the Wieniawski International Violin Competition. Later Zhang continued working with Mr. Treger at the University of Massachusetts where he earned his M.M. degree in 1989.
Zhang was the concertmaster of the Five College Symphony Orchestra. After winning the concerto competition, he performed the Brahms Double concerto with the symphony. The year prior to coming to Naples, Zhang began graduate work on his DMA degree at Ohio State University where he held a full teaching assistantship. He also served as the concertmaster of both the university and chamber music orchestras at Ohio State.
Zhang’s orchestral experience includes performances with Pro musica Chamber Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the Florida West Coast Symphony and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchesta. He has been a member of the Naples Philharmonic since 1990.
James Zhang is underwritten by William & Lynda Steere.
Name: James Zhang
Hometown: Tianjin, China
At what age did you begin playing your instrument? 14 (way too late!)
Who has been your greatest musical influence? My violin professor in college.
Who are your favorite composers? Bach and Beethoven.
What career path would you have taken had you not chosen music? Surgeon.
What’s currently playing on your iPod or CD player? Luciano Pavarotti arias (recorded from 1971-73).
Your hobbies and interests: Chess and Chinese chess, also travel.
Some little-known, yet interesting facts about you: Do you want to have real Chinese food? Ask me. I think I’m pretty good at cooking!
Funniest concert moment: A soloist was having problems with a piece, so he took off his shoes!
Daily practice rituals: Whatever is on the upcoming concert, plus some D major concertos (slowly).
The question you’re asked most often about your instrument (and your answer): "How much does it cost?" My answer: "$60,000-$70,000."
Your favorite part about playing in the Naples Philharmonic: My favorite part is how easy and enjoyable it is to play with my colleagues. I also enjoy the chamber music programs.