William Zhang is a US born child prodigy piano player from Milton, Georgia. He is known as one of the youngest piano players in the world. Because of his talent Zhang appeared on several TV shows and earned a number of awards by the age of 6. In addition to playing piano, he also enjoys reading, drawing and swimming.
Zhang was born in Georgia in the family of Guangyu Zhang and Julie Zhang, He displayed his piano playing abilities from a young age. William first started to play piano when he was only 1 years old. His parents took him with them on a business trip to Atlanta, Georgia.
When I play Schubert, I can see flowers. When I play Chaikovsky, I can see a bird flying around. A little bird, not [an] eagle.
That is why his parents decided to buy William his first piano when he was just 2 years old. The musical instrument cost them $20 000. Zhang’s mother Julia told journalists that the piano instructors she approached refused to teach him because of William’s young age. Because of this she taught herself how to play and passed this knowledge to her song.
William was taught by Raffi Besalyan, music professor at Georgia State. At first he didn’t want to teach someone as young as Zhang, but was quickly drawn into his world the first time they met. He began his piano lessons at age four and a half. William currently practices at least three hours a day.
When asked about Williams play style, Besalyan had this to say:
He has this brilliant sparkling energy
His breakthrough happened after a video of Zhang paying Mozart got him the first place at The American Protégé International Competition. After winning the award he performed at the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York in 2019. Zhang is one of the youngest performers and the youngest Georgean pianist to have achieved this honor.
In Carnegie Hall he performed as a part of The American Protégé Winners Recital. His favorite composers include Mozart, Bach and Chopin. At Carnegie he performed a piece by Mozart.
During his career as a professional piano player Zhang has appeared on several programs, including Little Big Shots that aired on NBC. There he talked about his love for music with actress Melissa McCarthy who called William a true virtuoso.
According to Zhang, he enjoys playing the piano as much as other kids enjoy their time in theme parks:
"Playing the piano... is as fun as riding on a rollercoaster, loop-de-looping through the air or riding a dolphin jumping out of the water. And when I play piano I also feel the composers are watching me, riding on broomsticks zooming around the piano."