English Chamber Orchestra: Meet the Artist event
Monday 27 January 2020
All tickets: £20 including a welcome drink
Priority booking for ECO Friends and Patrons until 5pm on 13 January 2020. To join the ECO Friends please contact Lydia Brookes (ECO).
Ahead of her British concerto debut with the ECO on 16 February at Cadogan Hall, thirteen-year old Newcastle-born violinist Leia Zhu performs a recital showcasing her virtuosity and natural musical talent, followed by an interview with Channel 4 News Presenter Cathy Newman. There will be an opportunity to meet the artists afterwards.
LEIA ZHU violin
KAORU WADA piano
CATHY NEWMAN presenter
Programme to include works by Stravinsky and Ravel.
Leia Zhu violin
Thirteen-year-old British violinist Leia Zhu has performed at prestigious festivals and venues in more than 15 countries around the world. As ‘The Violin Girl’, she regularly posts YouTube videos which share her joy of music and creativity, which have attracted thousands of subscribers and views.
Her musical maturity and expressive interpretation were recognised early on, and since her debut, aged four, at the North East Last Night of the Proms in Newcastle City Hall, she has performed with some of the world’s finest orchestras, including the National Orchestra of Belgium, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Festival Strings Lucerne, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra and Russian National Orchestra.
Last season, she performed Wieniawski’s Concerto No.1 with the Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra at the White Nights Festival in St Petersburg, and debuted at the renowned Rheingau Musik Festival. In 2018 she played Waxman’s Carmen Fantasie with Novosibirsk Symphony Orchestra at Vadim Repin’s Trans-Siberian Art Festival, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In the same year, she was invited to perform Mozart’s Adagio for violin and orchestra and Paganini’s La Campanella with Festival Strings Lucerne at the Lucerne Festival in KKL. In 2017, she performed Paganini’s Concerto No.1 with the State Capella Symphony Orchestra of St Petersburg at Musical Olympus Festival.
Other festival appearances have included Interlaken 125 Years, Interlaken Classics, Green Noise, Moscow Meets Friends, L’Arte del Arco, and Passau European Week. Her performance of Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir d’un lieu cher Op. 42 and Dance of the Goblins by Antonio Bazzini with Festival Strings Lucerne at 2017 MozartFest Würzburg was broadcast by BR/Deutschlandradio.
In 2019, she embarked on a two-week, six-city tour of Israel with the Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble, and she has previously toured Switzerland and Germany with Festival Strings Lucerne, performed across the north of England as soloist with the English Philharmonic Ensemble, and toured Spain with the Los Angeles-based Classical Concert Chamber Orchestra.
Her musical journey has taken her to major concert halls across Europe, including Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Centre and Milton Court in London, BOZAR in Brussels, Mozarteum Grosser Saal in Salzburg, KKL in Lucerne, Berlin Philharmonie, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg.
Special collaborations have included playing the 5th movement of Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole, conducted by Maxim Vengerov with the National Orchestra of Belgium at BOZAR in 2016, performing Sarasate’s Navarra for two violins with Noah Bendix-Balgley (concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra) at the Berliner Philharmonie in 2017, and sharing the stage with Roby Lakatos in Monti’s Czardas, accompanied by the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, broadcast live to an audience of millions in 2018.
In producing her own regular videos, Zhu is a confident communicator and passionate advocate for classical music. She has been featured by international media including Classic FM, BBC News, ITV, Sky News, The Strad magazine, Violin Channel and Violinist.com, as well as news channels in Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, Germany, Israel, Greece, the US and Austria, and newspapers and online media around the world.
Cathy Newman presenter
Cathy Newman is the first female main presenter of Channel 4 News. She spent over a decade in Fleet Street, latterly with the Financial Times. Since joining Channel 4 News in 2006 she has broadcast a string of scoops, including allegations of violent abuse against the British barrister John Smyth, sexual harassment allegations against the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Rennard, and an investigation into a British sex offender, Simon Harris, which saw him jailed for 17 years.
She was also the only broadcast journalist to travel with Angelina Jolie and the foreign secretary William Hague to the Congo as part of a campaign against sexual violence.
Cathy’s studio interviews are frequently news-making, and many have gone viral - watched by millions online - including combative encounters with the Canadian academic Jordan Peterson and the former motor-racing tycoon Max Mosley. The latter was nominated for a Royal Television Society Award in 2019, and made the front cover of Private Eye.
She presents other Channel 4 programmes including the Alternative Election Night with Jeremy Paxman. She regularly presents Channel 4's Dispatches programmes and has appeared several times on Have I Got News For You and Christmas Celebrity Genius.
Her book - Bloody Brilliant Women: Pioneers, Revolutionaries & Geniuses Your History Teacher Forgot to Mention - about female pioneers in 20th century Britain, was published by HarperCollins in Autumn 2018. Cathy was described by the Observer as a "brilliant writer". Author Michael Morpurgo said: "This book is so important. No library, no school or university, should be without a copy."
Cathy also writes about politics for the Telegraph. She was a judge on the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015 and the Red Magazine Women of the Year Award 2016. She is a patron of Kids, a charity for disabled children, and an ambassador for Young Minds.
In her spare time, Cathy is a keen amateur violinist, and plays in The Statutory Instruments quartet with members of parliament and Westminster staff.
Prior to arriving at Channel 4 News, Cathy worked as chief political correspondent for the Financial Times for three years. Before that she covered politics and media for the FT. Cathy joined the FT from the Independent where she was media business correspondent.
In 2000, Cathy won the prestigious Laurence Stern Fellowship, spending four months following in the footsteps of Woodward and Bernstein at the Washington Post.
She is married with two young children.