Tuesday 5 March 2019 at 8.30pm


KEVIN ZHU, violin

Paganini left his mark as one of the pillars of modern violin technique.
He was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time and this is palpable when you hear his violin concertos.
Another three exceptional violinists will complete this best loved series of six violin concertos.
Kevin Zhu is only 17 and the First Prize winner of the 2018 Paganini competition.

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Niccolo Paganini

Violin Concerto No.6 in E minor
Violin Concerto No. 3 in E Major
Violin Concerto No. 1 in E Major

Anastasiya Petryshak, violin

Anastasyia Petryshak was born in Ukraine in 1994. At the age of 8 she started performing in public, winning several competitions of national and international importance. In 2005, she moved to Italy to continue her studies that led her, at the age of 16, to be admitted to the high specialization course in violin, held by Maestro Salvatore Accardo at the “Walter Stauffer” International Academy in Cremona and at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, where she is currently an attendee. At the age of 17, she graduated summa cum laude at the “Arrigo Boito” Music Conservatory in Parma followed by the achievement of the diploma after attending the high specialization course in violin at the “Incontri col Maestro” International Academy in Imola. In 2015 she obtained the post-graduate degree specializing in instrument performance upon completion of the High Specialization Artistic and Music Course graduating summa cum laude at the Istituto Monteverdi in Cremona with Maestro Laura Gorna. In 2016 she was admitted to the prestigious ZHdK Academy in Zurich in the “Master in Specialized Music Performance – Soloist” with Maestro Rudolf Koelman. She successfully graduated in 2018. While she was completing her academic studies, she also perfected her music studies with B. Belkin, Z. Brohn, P. Amoyal, F. Ayo and S. Mintz.

In 2012 she won the 16th “Best Graduates in 2011 from Italian Music Conservatories and Institutes” Musical Review in Castrocaro Terme. In 2013, she performed at the Metropolitan Pavilion di New York as a representative of the excellence of Italian music institutes. In 2014, she won several competitions including the 17th edition of the Val Tidone International Music Competitions and the 15th “Riviera Etrusca” National Competition of Musical Performance in which she was awarded several prizes: violin prize, the absolute first prize Strings and the absolute first prize in all categories awarded by the audience. In 2016 she was awarded the “European Personality in the Classical Music” award for the 46th Edition of the “European Day” in the Campidoglio hall in Rome. In 2017, she won the 4th edition of the “Crescendo” competition.

She has held numerous concerto-recitals in some of the most important theatres and concert halls, including: the Auditorium Paganini in Parma, the Sala Nervi in the Vatican, the Teatro Grande in Brescia, the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York, the Teatro Eliseo and the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, the Goryeong Art Center in South Korea, the Auditorium “Giovanni Arvedi” and the Teatro Ponchielli in Cremona, the Teatro Manzoni in Bologna, the Teatro la Fenice in Venice, the Teatro Comunale in Ferrara, the Teatro Verdi in Busseto, the Teatro Ariston in Sanremo, the Teatro Regio in Parma. Worthy of mention are also Milan Cathedral and the “Sagrada Familia” Basilica in Barcelona. In 2018, she played at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima (Portugal), for the anniversary of the apparitions.

She has also performed with important orchestras, including the Orchestra Sinfonica “Arturo Toscanini”, the Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana, the Orchestra Cantelli in Milan, the Orchestra of the Teatro Regio in Parma, the Orchestra of the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, the Orchestra Sinfonica G. Rossini, the Orquestra Simfònica del Vallès and the Ukranian Philharmonic Orchestra, under conductors of the calibre of Marcello Rota, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Lorenzo Bizzarri, Alberto Orlandi, Andrea Battistoni and Paolo Ponziani Ciardi among others.

She has participated in several documentaries as well as national and international TV programmes, including “Petruska,” “Nautilus,” “Che Tempo che Fa,” “Festival di Sanremo,” “60’ Minutes” broadcast by CBS USA, EBS International, documentaries on the life of Paganini, Stradivarius, or regarding the violin itself and the role of the soloist. As from 2010, she has regularly collaborated with Andrea Bocelli performing alongside him in several concerts acclaiming a resounding success from both the audience and the critics. She performs as a member of the Orchestra da Camera Italiana chamber ensemble, consisting of the best pupils of the Accademia Walter Stauffer in Cremona conducted and founded by Salvatore Accardo, performing in some of the most important music institutes both in Italy and abroad. She also dedicates herself to contemporary music, by performing concerts in collaboration with the “Fontana Mix” ensemble and with the participation of composers of the calibre of Sofia Gubajdulina, Ivan Fedele, George Crumb among others. She also started a collaboration with the composer Khaled Mouzanar, performing his music at the Baalbeck International Festival 2018.

She collaborates with the Fondazione A. Stradivari in Cremona, regularly performing all the instruments of the following collections: Stradivarius, Amati, Guarneri del Gesù and many others. Moreover, she collaborates with the Musical acoustics workshop of the Polytechnic of Milan and the Non-invasive diagnostics laboratory of the University of Studies of Pavia, that deals with the acoustic aspects of the instrument as well as the physical nature of Stradivarius, Amati and Guarneri del Gesù violins, modern violins that have won the Triennial International Violin-making competition, carrying out an in-depth study of the sound quality and identifying the peculiarities and the subtle nuances of timbre that each violin has. These collaborations have enabled her to specialise in the use and assessment of ancient and modern instruments as well as playing over sixty of these. All completed research projects have been published in the most important sector-related scientific magazines. She regularly plays a violin especially made for her by Roberto Regazzi in 2012.

In 2015, she was chosen to take part in the project conceived and created by Pope Francis and by the Pontifical Council for the Family “Il Grande Mistero” (The Great Mystery), to celebrate the World Family Day with a series of concerts held in the most important cathedrals worldwide. The first stage of the tour was held in Barcelona in the suggestive “Sagrada Familia” Basilica, in the John Pope II Sanctuary in Krakow and in Budapest in the Basilica of St. Stephen.

In October 2016, by way of exception and with the authorisation of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and the Municipality of Genoa, she performed Concerto No. 1 for violin and orchestra by Niccolò Paganini at the Carlo Felice in Genoa playing the famous “Cannon” violin that once belonged to Niccolò Paganini.

She regularly performs concerts as a soloist and in collaboration with performers of both national and international importance.

In 2017, she signed a contract of exclusivity with Sony Classical Italia which foresees the publication, in Fall 2018, of her first CD.

Kevin Zhu, Violin

Eighteen-year-old Kevin Zhu has amassed an outstanding record of concert performances and competition wins since he began studying violin at age three. He has performed as a soloist at prestigious venues such as London’s Royal Festival Hall, Mozart Hall of the Vienna Konzerthaus, China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, Moscow’s International Performing Arts Center, Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall, and Austin’s Long Center for the Performing Arts. His solo debut with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, one of the world’s greatest orchestras, received a glowing review from venerable music magazine The Strad. On Kevin’s performance of Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy, critic Tim Homfray writes: “Zhu is just brilliant. He gave a performance of awesome technical command and maturity, in which every devilish demand put his way by Sarasate was dispatched with ease and a proper degree of dramatic flair”. Amati Magazine comments on Kevin’s solo performance in Austin: “He has clearly continued to flourish, whipping through the virtuosic demands of the piece and playing with a complete command of the sultry, mature drama.”

In April of 2018, Kevin won first prize in the 55th Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa, Italy. He also received special prizes for being the youngest finalist and the best performance of a Paganini Caprice. In the 2012 Menuhin International Violin Competition in Beijing, Kevin was awarded first prize in the Junior Division, becoming the youngest-ever winner in the 29-year history of the competition. He also took home the Composer’s Prize for the best performance of a new Chinese work.

Kevin had a very successful debut with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra at the Mozart Hall of the Vienna Konzerthaus, performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. His recent performances include concerto appearances with the Moscow Virtuosi Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Sichuan Philharmonic Orchestra, and Xinghai Conservatory of Music Symphony Orchestra, as well as solo recitals in London, New York, Florida and Genoa. As a Culture Ambassador of the Lin Yao Ji Music Foundation of China, Kevin was a featured soloist at the Harpa International Music Academy in Iceland in 2013 and 2016. He has repeatedly been a featured artist on BBC Radio 3 and National Public Radio. Kevin’s upcoming engagements include concerto appearances in Italy and the Al Bustan Festival in Lebanon, as well as a series of solo recitals in Italy.

Kevin is a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship at The Juilliard School, where he studies with Mr. Itzhak Perlman and Li Lin. He previously trained at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Li Lin and Ian Swensen.


Kevin performs on an Andrea Guarneri violin, generously on loan from Florian Leonhard Fine Violins.

Giulio Plotino, Violin

Born in Genoa Giulio Plotino began to study the violin with Joseph Levin. After earning a degree at the conservatory of his city, he graduated from the Hogeschool voor de kusten in Utrecht in the class of Philipp Hirschhorn. He then furthered his studies under the guidance of Salvatore Accardo, Boris Belkin, Thomas Zeethmair and members of the Quartetto Italiano, Amadeus Quartet and Alban Berg Quartet.

An award winner at Genoa’s “Premio Paganini” Competition, he won the “Premio Città di Vittorio Veneto” Competition.

He performed at Lehamn Centre di New York, Citè de la Musique and Musée d’Orsay di Parigi, Styriarte Festspiele di Graz, Centro Cultural de Belém di Lisbona, Melbourne Recital Centre, Yon Siew Toh Hall di Singapore, Teatro Major di Bogotà, Perth Concert Hall, Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, Unione Musicale di Torino, Istituzione dei concerti La Sapienza di Roma, GOG di Genova, Società del Quartetto di Vicenza and Amici della Musica di Firenze, Padova, Perugia, Palermo etc….

With Andrea Marcon and the Venice Baroque Orchestra he went on a long North America tour that reaped great success with audiences and critics played on period instruments. On the early music scene, he also collaborated with Ottavio Dantone, performing J.S.Bach’s 5thBrandenburg Concerto.

In 2017 he debuted on the podium conducting Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia and a symphony concert at the Teatro lirico di Sassari and soon will debut as soloist/conductor with the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana in Palermo.

In 2018 he recorded for Dynamic a production dedicated to Paganini and his instruments, the violin, the guitar and the cello belonged to Paganini playing with Clemens Hagen and Matteo Mela.

Soon to be released by Brilliant Classic, he has recorded Tartini’s Concertos on baroque violin with L’Accademia della Rosa, an orchestra which himself founded, playing on period instruments.

His performance of the Britten violin concerto, under the baton of Simone Young conducting the West australian Symphony Orchestra, was recorded by ABC Classsic.

Plotino has mover always cultivated contemporary music, collaboratng with composers such as L. Berio, F. Vacchi, S. Bussotti, S. Sciarrino and G. Benjamin. He recorded the Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VIII for Dynamic which has received favourable reviews from international critics.

For 15 years he was Concertmaster in orchestras such as, among the others, the London Phiharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Gran Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

He has been a jury member in international competitions such as the Premio Paganini and Rodolfo Lipizer. He teaches at the Conservatory of Genoa and was Visiting Professor at the University of Western Australia and Yon Sie Toh Conservatory of Music of Singapore. Since 2015 he has been Artistic Director of the Campus Musicale Lunigiana.

Gianluca Marcianò, conductor

Young Italian conductor Gianluca Marcianò is Artistic Director at the Al Bustan Festival in Beirut.  Previous posts have included the Tbilisi State Opera & Ballet Theatre in Georgia where he conducted La Forza del Destino, Cavalleria Rusticana, Nabucco, Attila, Il Trovatore, Mitridate, Re di Pontoand Aida, as well as concerts with Andrea Bocelli in Georgia.

Highlights within the 2015/16 season include a return to the Opera de Oviedo in October to conduct a new production of Nabucco by director Emilio Sagi, which tours to Gijon and Pamplona. In December, Marcianò will conduct Verdi’s Ernani at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre.

Much of Marcianò’s operatic work in the UK has centred on English National Opera with Jonathan Miller’s production of La Bohème and Anthony Minghella’s production of Madama Butterfly as well as Grange Park Opera where he has conducted productions of Eugene Onegin, Samson et Dalila, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, I Puritani, Queen of Spades and La traviata as well as a gala concert with Simon Keenlyside and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.  He has also conducted at Longborough Festival Opera (Die Zauberflöte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan Tutte and La traviata) and the Chelsea Opera Group (Manon Lescaut, La traviata, La Favorite and Alzira).

Marcianò also had strong ties with the opera houses in Zagreb, Minsk, Sassari and Prague. During his time in Zagreb as the main conductor, he conducted Nabucco, La traviata, Turandot, Carmen, La Cenerentola and Il Barbiere di Siviglia. In Minsk, he has performed Il Barbiere di Siviglia and La traviata, and at the Teatro Verdi in Sassari, La Pietra del Paragone, Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias and the Italian premiere of Debussy’s La Damoiselle Elue. In 2011 he conducted La traviata at the Prague State Opera.

On the concert platform, Marcianò has worked with instrumentalists such as Gautier Capuçon, Arabella Steinbacher, Anna Tifu, Alexandra Soumm, Steven Isserlis, Boris Andrianov, Maria Joao Pires, David Geringas, Khatia Buniatishvili, Sergei Krylov, Nina Kotova, Giovanni Sollima, Sergei Nakariakov and Denis Kozhukin. His recent work includes concerts with the George Enescu Philharmonic and the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he performed Mahler’s Symphony No.1 in 2011. He has a close relationship with the English Chamber Orchestra, opening their 2011/12 London season in a programme including Mozart’s Symphony No.39 and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No.2 at the Cadogan Hall. Other notable orchestras which Marcianò has conducted include the Moscow City Russian Philharmonic, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the English National Opera, the Oviedo Filarmonia, the Sarajevo Philarmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia, The World Orchestra, the Macau Orchestra and Beijing Symphony Orchestra.

  • 9th appearance at Al Bustan International Festival of Music and the Performing Arts