Sissi Yuqing Zhang
Sissi Yuqing Zhang is a member of the first violin section with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 2017. She serves as co-first violin with the Peachtree String Quartet, is active in the Atlanta metropolitan area as a performer and violin teacher and has coached with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Active in solo, chamber, and orchestral performances, Sissi has performed in the US, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Notably, she has appeared in performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Hall, Barbican Center, and the Shanghai Oriental Art Center. Already in her career as a versatile violinist, Sissi has had the privilege of working with world renowned conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Alan Gilbert, Manfred Honeck, Jamie Laredo, Peter Ounjian, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yannick Nézet-Séquin, Josef Silverstein, Michael Tilson Thomas, and David Zinman.
Recent highlights include touring with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the LA Phil 100 Tour and featuring in a quartet recording for the Grand Teton Music Festival’s Music from the Mountains online festival. Additionally, she was the winner of the concerto competition at the Music Academy of the West where she soloed Béla Bartóks Violin Concerto No. 2. Other notable achievements include finalist at the Concert Artists Guild Competition, semi-finalist at the Michael Hill International Violin Competition, and 3rd place and audience prize at the Crescendo Music Awards.
Sissi has participated in the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland, Schleswig-Holstein Orchestra Festival in Germany, Fontainebleau School of Fine Arts in France, Music Academy of the West in California, Kneisel Hall in Main, Sarasota Music Festival in Florida, Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine, and the New York String Seminar Orchestra in New York.
Born in Bengbu, Anhui, Sissi began studying the violin at age four. In 2001, with the highest score in her class, she was accepted into the Shanghai Music Middle School. At only 17 years old, she was awarded third prize in the National Violin Competition of China where she was praised by one of the judges “the youngest, but the most promising contestant.”
In 2010, Sissi continued her path towards becoming a professional violinist with a full scholarship to The Juilliard School in NYC, studying with Lewis Kaplan, Ronald Copes, and Ida Kavafian where she obtained her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School. Sissi continued her studies at the Yale School of Music under the tutelage of Ani Kavafian.
Outside of music and the violin, Sissi’s other passions include learning new languages and art history. She has fulfilled four semesters in French language study at Columbia
University and an additional semester in architecture study at Yale University.
What year did you join the ASO?
What's on your ASO repertoire bucket list?
John Adams’ Naïve and Sentimental Music
What's the most interesting or difficult facet of your instrument?
It is definitely challenging to pick up different programs every week especially being in the first violin section. The melodies in the higher register of the instrument is often very exposed, but definitely made it more interesting to learn and to perform.
What do you do in your free time outside of work?
Traveling is a big part of my part outside of work. I also like to go to museums and see paintings of all periods to find inspirations.
Favorite time of year to get outside?
April and May
Most memorable/favorite ASO memory or moment?
Playing the Harry Potter movies with a full choir!