2016 1st Prize Classical Saxophone: Aiwen Zhang

Aiwen ZhangAiwen Zhang was born in Hangzhou, China. She is currently an undergraduate student at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, in the studio of Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin. She is also a member of the Eastman Wind Ensemble which is directed by Dr. Mark Scatterday, the Eastman Saxophone project, which gave its Kennedy Center debut in April 2015, under the direction of Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin, and “Jolokia”¬Ě Saxophone Quartet. She began her musical studies on clarinet at the age of ten. At the age of twelve, Zhang found her passion playing classical saxophone. Zhang received her high school diploma at the High School Affiliated to Shanghai Conservatory of Music (2011). She had Yuanxiang Zeng, Rende Zheng and Xiaolu Zhang as her primary teachers in China. Zhang moved to Bowling Green, Ohio in 2011 and started her Bachelor of Music in Saxophone Performance with Distinguished Artist Professor Dr. John Sampen. She was the first chair saxophone of Bowling Green Wind Symphony.

Zhang has performed in several accomplished quartets. In 2012, Zhang’ss quartet “Four Corners” placed first in the MTNA competition in Ohio State, and received second prize in the Douglas Wayland Chamber Music Competition with “Sidu” saxophone quartet in 2013. In addition to chamber music competitions, Zhang has won many solo competitions, including the second prize as a soloist of the Lima Symphony Young Artist Competition in 2013 and first prize in the 47th Annual BGSU Concerto Competitions in Music Performance. In 2015, she received the first prize of the national WDAV Young Chamber Musicians Competition with Farrago 4 Saxophone Quartet. In 2013, she had her debut solo concert in Hangzhou, China with the Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra under the highly-acclaimed conductor Xiaoou Zhao. She also performed with the Bowling Green Philharmonia¬† as a soloist in February, 2014. She has also performed in masterclasses around the world with renowned teachers Claude Delangle, Vincent David, Timothy McAllister, Arno Bornkamp, Otis Murphy, Kenneth Tse, Masataka Hirano and Habanera Quartet.