Assoc Prof Zhang ManQin
Zhang Manqin joined the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in 2005. She also holds the position of Principal Viola at the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
Prior to her current positions in Singapore, Ms Zhang was the first Asian player and youngest member in the history of the orchestra while she was appointed Assistant Principal Viola by music director Neeme Järvi at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) in 1994. She toured more than half a dozen times with the orchestra in major European cities and in North America including Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, London, Rome, Vienna, Poland, Switzerland, and Japan. Ms Zhang has worked closely with conductors and soloists such as Claudio Abbado, Lorin Mazel, Simon Rattle, Zubin Metha, Michael Tilson Thomas, Isaac Stern, Yo Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman, Gil Shaham, Midori, and Emanuel Ax. During her tenure at the DSO, she was a resident artist at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, a member of the DSO Chamber Music Ensemble and DSO String Quartet, and a participant and performer of the Chamber Music Festival at Blue Lake in Great Michigan area. She also regularly performed with the Detroit Chamber Winds.
Born in Hunan, China, Ms Zhang started her violin lessons at the age of five and entered the Shanghai Conservatory of Music at the age of 10. She successfully made her debut public performance at the age of 12. In 1991, she was a finalist of the Primrose International Viola Competition; as a violist of the Young Shanghai String Quartet, she also won the 4th prize of the Portsmouth International String Quartet Competition in 1988, and 3rd prize of the Prague International Competition for String Quartet in 1987. With her talent, she completed her performance diploma in viola with highest honours at the Shanghai Conservatory before she migrated to the United States of America in 1990. Later, she was accepted as a full scholarship student to work on her bachelor's degree and professional studies in viola with Emanuel Vardi at the Manhattan School of Music.
As an active visiting professor, she has coached and conducted masterclasses at major musical institutions in mainland China, such as the conservatories of Shanghai, Xinghai (Guangzhou), Sichuan, and Wuhan. A much sought-after chamber musician, Ms Zhang has performed regularly in chamber music concerts.