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Tony Zhai - Violin

Tony began his studies of violin in Beijing before moving to Auckland in 2001, where he was involved with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s young achiever’s program. In 2007 he received a masterclass with Pamela Frank as part of the Michael Hill Violin Competition held that year.

Tony graduated his Bachelors of Music Performance in 2014 with first class honours at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, studying with Professor Ole Bohn. There he played in many masterclasses with renowned professors such as Pinchas Zukerman and Sylvia Rosenberg. He completed his Masters of Music in Germany with Professor Stefan Hempel at Rostock Hochschule für Musik und Theater. As part of his graduation, Tony played the Kurt Weill violin concerto with the Mecklenburger Wind Academy.

In 2009 he was awarded the most promising player at the Gisborne International Music Competition as well as a concert prize for him to play regularly at the Tiromoana house concert series. He also received financial sponsorship for his studies from Prof. Jack Richards as well as the Margaret Henderson travelling scholarship for his studies overseas. He was a finalist in the 2013 Kendall National Violin Competition in Sydney, Australia. He has advanced to the second stage in both the Lipizer and Freiburg International Violin Conpetitions.

In January 2014, Tony travelled to Brazil to attend the FEMUSC festival where he received masterclasses with Charles Stegeman, Richard Roberts and Leon Spierer. While studying in Germany he travelled across Europe to participate in masterclases with Judith Ingolfsson, Esther Hoppe and Ida Bieler among many other renowned professors.

Tony has been a tutti member of Orchestra Victoria since 2018, and enjoys playing chamber music alongside his orchestral engagements.