In 2018, Lauren Zhang won the BBC Young Musician Competition in her hometown of Birmingham. Her performance of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mark Wigglesworth was broadcast live on BBC4 and BBC Radio 3 to widespread critical acclaim. Following her success in the competition, Lauren has been invited to perform at the BBC Proms with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Proms in the Park with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and is in demand as soloist throughout the UK and further afield.
Future highlights include concerto performances with London Mozart Players, Orchestra of the Swan, the European Union Chamber Orchestra and Brno Philharmonic. She gives recitals at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, the Herkulessaal in Munich, and as part of the Ryedale, Wooburn and Lichfield Festivals, among many others.
In 2016, Lauren won first prize at the 15th Ettlingen International Piano Competition in Germany. Among other achievements, she was a prize-winner at the Wales International Piano Festival (2016) and the Young Pianist of the North International Competition (2015), and was awarded first prize in the EPTA-UK (18 and under) competition (2015), and first prize in the Emanuel Piano Trophy competition (2015).
Lauren studies piano with Dr Robert Markham and violin with Samuel Mason in the Junior Department at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, to which she was accepted in 2010. She also receives guidance from Professor Christopher Elton. She began piano lessons with Madeline Ignazito in the USA at the age of four, and started to learn violin with Terry Coulton when she was six. Later she moved to Birmingham where she is a pupil at the King Edward VI High School for Girls. In 2018, she achieved the top category in all of her eleven GCSEs.
Lauren has participated in masterclasses with Fabio Bidini, Peter Donohoe, Kenneth Hamilton, Angela Hewitt, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Pascal Nemirovski, Marios Papadopoulos, Menahem Pressler, and John Thwaites. A keen chamber musician as a pianist and violinist, Lauren has participated in and organised numerous charity concerts.
During her spare time, Lauren also has broad interests in science and fencing. Lauren is grateful for the support of YCAT through their aftercare scheme for BBC Young Musician finalists.