Niu Niu is the stage name of Zhang Shengliang, who was born into a musical family in Xiamen in 1997. With signs of exceptional talent shown at the age of three, Niu Niu initially studied piano with his father and made his recital debut at six year’s old with a Mozart Sonata and a Chopin étude. At the age of eight, he became the youngest student ever enrolled in the affiliated primary school of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He has studied with Hung-Kuan Chen since the age of ten. In 2014, he was admitted to New York’s Juilliard School with a full scholarship and graduated in 2018.
Niu Niu signed to EMI Classics at the age of nine, making him the youngest pianist ever signed to an international classical label. Since then, he has released eight albums. Fate & Hope, his latest album released by Decca Classics in 2021, includes his debut composition Hope.
Niu Niu’s career highlights include the 2007 Pearl Awards at London’s Royal Festival Hall, where he performed Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto no.1 under his mentor Leslie Howard in the presence of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In 2009, he became the youngest pianist to give a solo recital at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. In October 2010, Niu Niu was named the youngest laureate of the 2010 PRIX Montblanc in Berlin. In 2012, as the first laureate of the Artemisia Foundation, he made his debuts in Boston’s Jordan Hall and Yale University’s Sprague Hall. In 2017, he was invited to perform for the presidents of China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa at the BRICS summit evening gala.
In August 2016, he completed a tour in 16 cities throughout China. So far, he had over 100 performances all over the world.
In 2018-19, Niu Niu dubbed the piano performance of the character Wei Pang in NHK’s animated version of Piano no Mori (Forest of Piano). Broadcast by Netflix worldwide, the animation has boosted an appreciation in classical music and drawn more young audience to Niu Niu’s music. As part of the campaign in support of his new album Fate & Hope, Niu Niu embarked on a nationwide tour in Japan in 2021, followed by the 2021/22 season’s world tour in China, Japan, the Americas and Europe.