First Place for Pianist Chris Zhu III

Chris with Professor Manabu Takasawa, the competition director and faculty in piano of the University of Rhode Island.

On 25 March, Chris Zhu III took first place in the Senior Pianist Division of the 2018 University of Rhode Island Piano Extravaganza Competition. As a premier piano competition, URI Piano Extravaganza attracts some of the best young pianists from the northeastern region. Chris was awarded the top cash prize among all divisions and earned high praises from the competition’s adjudicator, Rasa Vitkauskaite, an internationally acclaimed pianist who plays for the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Vitkauskaite noted, “As a very musical and accomplished performer, Chris has a wonderful range of dynamics. He played Liszt’s Concert Etude in beautiful singing tone and exhibited a great sense of character and style in Beethoven’s Appassionata Sonata.”


As a violinist, Chris also recently won the top prize from the Roman Totenberg Young Strings Competition. An avid musician in R.L.’s chamber program and frequent participant in R.L. recital halls, Chris has performed at Carnegie Hall and Steinway Hall in New York, and at Symphony Hall in Boston. In addition to performing at these well-known venues, Chris has shared his musical talent with local senior communities such as Newbridge at Charles in Dedham and Deutsches Altenheim in West Roxbury.