Zen Hu was born into a musical family in Chengdu, China.
At the age of 6 she started to take piano lessons with her mother, and a year later she began with her violin studies with her father. Already at the age of 13 she won first prize at the Sichuan Violin Competition, in the following year she was a Grand Prize winner at the National Chinese Violin Competition.
After finishing her studies with professor Hu Weimin at the Sichuan Music Conservatory,she continued to study with Ana Chumachenko at the Munich Conservatory in Germany where she graduated with a master degree.
Lord Yehudi Menuhin invited her to collaborate with him at the famous Menuhin Academy in Gstaad (Switzerland) where she performed and toured regularly with Camerata Lysy. Shortly afterwards, chief conductor of Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Sergiu Celibidache, invited her to become the youngest and at the same time the first Chinese member of this fine orchestra. Since then, she has appeared regularly as a soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of the Munich Philharmonic as well as with the highly acclaimed German brass ensemble “Blechschaden”.
Meanwhile, Zen Hu performed in numerous European countries, both Americas, Australia, and in Asia as a soloist, as a member of Gothoni String Quartet, and as a member of various chamber music groups, including Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Lucerne Festival Strings, Salzburg String Sextet and Mozarteum Ensemble Salzburg.
She also participated at several international festivals in Italy (Chiavari, Trasimeno), Spain (Ibiza Summer), France (Biarritz), Finland (Rauma), Germany (Aschau), Austria (Lockenhaus, “toujours Mozart” in Vienna and Salzburg), The Netherlands (“EPTA” Amsterdam, Eindhoven), Slovenia (Maribor), Czech Republic (Prague Spring), Poland (Warszawa, Cracow), USA (New York, Long Island), China (Shanghai, Beijing), Japan (Tokyo), Chile (Valparaiso), and Australia (Sydney Opera House, “Four Winds” Festival).
In 2017 Zen Hu toured on both instruments, violin and Erhu (Chinese two-stringed traditional violin) with Sinfonietta Cracovia & Jurek Dybal, and in 2018 she gave the European Premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Symphony No. 6 “Chinese Songs” in Kulturpalast Dresden, Germany, with Dresdner Philharmonie conducted by Christian Macelaru in the presence of the composer. This concert was repeated in in Warsaw, Poland.
She has recorded several CDs, including highly acclaimed recording for Channel Classics called “China Connection” in duo with violinist Ning Feng. Her Mozart CD with Dejan Lazić featuring chamber music works by Mozart won prestigious German OPUS Klassik Award 2021 in the category “Chamber Music Recording of the Year”.
Zen Hu has performed for various international TV and radio broadcasting companies and also regularly gives master classes in Europe, China, and in Australia. She lives currently in Amsterdam.
“Zen Hu plays with a fine feeling for the ethnic idiom (...) and definitely understands the
piece's atmosphere and moods”
- American Record Guide (USA), “China Connection” Duo CD with Ning Feng, violin
“The skilful and extraordinarily numinous playing” - Audiophile Audition Magazine (USA)
“Zen Hu hat einen ebenso beachtlichen wie individuellen Zugang zu ihrem Programm
gefunden” - Ensemble Magazine (Germany)
“Rassige Carmen-Fantasie bringt die Stimmung im Saal!”
- tz München (Germany), title quote