ZEE ZEE. ESTHER. NAREK.
The Z.E.N. Trio – pianist Zhang Zuo, violinist Esther Yoo and cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan – met as BBC New Generation Artists in 2015 and have since performed together for BBC Radio as well as across Europe, China, Canada and the United States, including a debut at the prestigious Aspen Music Festival in 2018. In the 2019/20 season, the trio made a six-city North American tour of San Francisco, Vancouver, Santa Barbara, Boston, Washington and Miami, garnering ecstatic audience responses and rave critical reviews.
Following the hiatus enforced by the Covid pandemic, the Trio is returning to the concert hall and in August 2022 will begin a ten-concert tour of Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Canberra. They will present two different programmes, including a world première by Australian composer Matthew Laing, and engage in masterclasses with local students.
Their debut album, of Brahms and Dvořák Piano Trios, came out in 2017, followed in 2020 by “Burning Through the Cold”, featuring trios by Shostakovich, Babajanian, Rachmaninov and Khachaturian. Both albums were released by Deutsche Grammophon.
While the trio’s name, "Z.E.N." is an acronym for the three artists’ initials, it also hints at the philosophy with which they approach their music making - the forgoing of the self for total togetherness.