Clara Zhang is an international concert pianist and piano teacher based in New York City. While a student at Tianjin Conservatory, she was selected in 2000 to perform with an international group which toured the United States. She attended Washburn University in Kansas on a full scholarship and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance. She was then awarded a teaching assistantship at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she received a Master of Music in Piano Performance.
Zhang performs regularly in concert halls in the US and China. In 2009, she was invited by Maestro Norman Gamboa to perform the Beethoven Piano Concerto No.1, Op.15 with the Washburn Symphony Orchestra in Kansas, receiving critical acclaim. She continues to perform both solo repertoire and chamber music. Her collaboration with cellist Analissa Martinez in the Firebird Duo was featured on the Alive with Clive TV show as well as in the Abrons Arts Center in New York City. With clarinetist Yi-Chuan Chen, Ms. Zhang has performed as the CYC Duo at the Waltz-Astoria in Queens, Snapple Theater on Broadway and venues in Long Island City and Brooklyn. Recent appearances include a duo recital at Carnegie Hall, solo & chamber recitals at Mannes Recital Hall, the Goldmark Hall, Yamaha Artist Center, New York Bar Association, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House and Lincoln Center.
In the summer of 2012, Zhang opened Rational Music Studios (RMS), a private piano studio based in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Here, Zhang offers classical music instruction focusing on conceptual understanding and proper technique. Recently, RMS has expanded from Manhattan into Brooklyn and Queens. Zhang’s students have won prizes and performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and been accepted into performing arts schools. (Mark Twain Middle School and LaGuardia High School).
In addition to its core mission of music instruction, RMS’s founding philosophy also includes presenting musicians of various ages and abilities. Settings range from formal concert halls to the more intimate, providing both performers and audiences a wide range of musical experiences. These concerts feature professional chamber groups and outstanding piano students offering solo recitals and chamber ensembles such as piano eight hands, four pianos, piano with various instruments and classical and jazz crossover performances. RMS also organizes concerts throughout New York City and beyond for American and international musicians. For example, since December 2013, our students and artists-in-residence have presented annual recitals in Steinway Hall, reflecting our partnership status with Steinway & Sons. A series of salon concerts has also been created to provide additional opportunities for performing artists from around the world to collaborate and perform in the greater NYC area.
In recent years, Zhang has worked with composer Matt Johnson, performing his compositions with a chamber piano quartet. She has been engaged to teach a series of master classes in Hong Kong at the invitation of the School of Virtuoso and John Allen Music Institute as well as present a solo performance at the Leschetizky Professional Artist Concert at the Tenri Cultural Institute in NYC.
Professional affiliations include the Leschetizky Association and the American Federation of Musicians. In addition, she is an Educational Partner of Steinway & Sons and an executive board member of the Piano Teacher Congress of New York City.