London agency signs 12 year-old violinist

London agency signs 12 year-old violinist


norman lebrecht

September 27, 2019

Words fail. Message from HP:

British violinist Leia Zhu has joined the HarrisonParrott family, and will be introduced as our youngest artist to friends, colleagues and music lovers at our HP50 celebrations at the Southbank Centre on 06 October.
Aged only 12, Leia has already performed at prestigious festivals and venues in more than 15 countries around the world, and as ‘The Violin Girl’, she regularly posts YouTube videos that share her joy of music and creativity, attracting thousands of subscribers and views.


  • Anmarie says:

    Is this some prank by Two Set?

  • KrZ says:

    Some uninformed would see this as being unusual for a young British violinist, however, Leia is no ordinary violinist, she is highly in demand and she has a very mature understanding of music, and to top it off, her experiences performing on the biggest stages far exceeds many adult artists.

    I am sure you would agree that it won’t be wise to leave this unchecked to inexperienced representations(aka her parents).

    Therefore with HP’s involvement and their experiences in developing artists and their family ethos, Leia is in fact being PROTECTED and NURTURED. As her parent, I applaud the wisdom and courage of HP, wish them both a great success!

    • norman lebrecht says:

      As her parent, you have taken this decision. We hope it’s the right one.

      • KrZ says:

        Thanks Norman, I enthusiastically invite you to follow Leia’s progress, for now to listen to her on YouTube, for future to hear her live in the concert if possible.

        I would like to finish my post by quoting
        Alfie Kohn “To take children seriously is to value them for who they are right now rather than adults-in-the-making.” It couldn’t be said better.

        Good day!

  • SMH says:

    Words fail indeed.

    Are 4k youtube subscribers (nothing in today’s social media standards) really enough to get one a management contract?

    • Bill says:

      Tell you what, get 4k youtube subscribers and see if you get any calls about a contract.

      I suspect that wasn’t what did it.

    • CasCat says:

      Possibly not but a parent with a degree in public relations or who once worked for a leading global PR & Communications company might help. Perhaps not such inexperienced representations.

      • Gina says:

        Speaking of experience, how many violin pedagogues’ children have become the top violinists?

        There’s no trace of your comments on this site but today…. Makes one wonder..

  • Stephen says:

    This is ridiculous. As is her ridiculously pushy tiger mother. She also plays nowhere near the level of the Jr Menuhin Competition laureates. Crazy sauce.

  • CasCat says:

    I know of many equally (arguably more) talented young violinists. Many choose not to follow such a path at such a young age – moreover, many are not blessed with the opportunities or the means to be able to travel the world playing prestigious festivals. KrZ’s post refers to her as ‘no ordinary violinist’ – in terms of her lifestyle and opportunities, quite true I am sure. In terms of her musical craft – well that depends on how ‘uninformed’ you are and what you are measuring ‘ordinariness’ by.

    • KrZ says:

      “Uninformed” refers to the other side of the viewpoint which I feel needs to be aired. So at least Norman’s reader can get a glimpse of the thoughts behind.
      Concerning her music craft, it is not for me to make an assertion, you may like it, or you may not at all, to me that is the beauty of this abstract art. And that is never a zero-sum game.

  • Mia says:

    good luck to little Leia!

  • RichardF says:

    But will she emulate the sensitivity of Ginette Neveu?
    And the warmth of Yehudi Menuhin?
    Time will tell

    • Mick the Knife says:

      Her Bach recording is pretty good and already there is a personality in her playing. I hope she doesn’t emulate either of those two or anyone else. If Menuhin is your ideal of “warmth” go listen to your recordings of him. If this girl is an artist she won’t sound like any of them and to expect her to is a limiting way to listen. IMHO.

  • VIolinaccordion says:

    She has a lovable personality , great stage presence and a technique that will only improve.
    As a seasoned unpretentious soloist who is already travelling the world without the need of the tedious and dubious competition conveyor belt.Neither has she sold herself to Mass celebrity media like the circus surrounding Alma Deutscher, who would be similarly skilled, if she ever played any normal repertoire other than her own grade 7/8 concerto.
    Leia has played to and been given accolades by Ida Haendel which speaks for itself .

    Artist management will treat her as a 12 year old schoolgirl, manage and promote engagements and correct fees and expenses.
    It speaks volumes that they have taken on someone who hasn’t won an international competition.
    She’s already a long way down the road and
    YouTube views are irrelevant. Someone of the calibre of Yo Kitamura has a handful of views also at 12 years old.

    She’s going places at her own pace and good management will take the stress from her family.

    • Bob Slinger says:

      No teenagers regardless of talent or cuteness should be a star before they are adults. There’s no need for it, no gain and will only jeopardize their future career and well being. At least this alma girl is writing her own music and performs it herself and is not just another interpreter among tens of thousands trying to do what adults already do much better. That said none of them should be anywhere near a professional performing scene or career before adulthood. It is irresponsible and a gamble with they future well being. That said, it can ofcourse end well like we see once in a while but it is still an unnecessary gamble.

      • Saxon Broken says:

        Many adult stars starting performing when still children. It can work so long as the parents are not too pushy and that is what the child wants to do.

    • anon3000 says:

      The comparison with Alma Deutscher is nonsensical in that she is the author of her material and people are willing to pay to listen to it. There’s no demand for her to be the best pianist or violinist or even a good one, as long as she’s presenting her own material to a paying audience.

      It’s different with a teenage performer of others work, in that you only have two reasons to watch it. 1: Because she/he is adorable because of young age. 2: Because you think she does the job better than a seasoned adult. Both of those choices are worrisome.

  • PT says:

    Wow. Made in UK!!!
    #MBGA #GoBoris

  • NYMike says:

    Impressive fiddling!

  • Edgar Self says:

    Jascha Heifetz debuted at age seven playing Mendelssohn’s E-minor concerto. His father began teaching him fundamentals on a small violin before he was two. At age five he began lessons with Leopold Auer. He may have recorded as early as age ten or eleven.

  • Nick2 says:

    Did not Leila Josefowicz sign with IMG Artists when she was around that age?

    • Larry W says:

      While quite talented, Leia is no Leila. Leila’s parents and teachers carefully monitored her exposure and musical growth. No note before it’s time.

  • Bob Slinger says:

    This Leia Zhu is nothing special. There’s plenty of violinist her age who is much better and they don’t have the need of a youtube video to be famous, that will come in due time, but I guess her and her parents is in it for the money and stardom rather than develop her talent in a proper way. The fact that adults in this comment section seems to adore her already is embarrassing and ridiculous. I wish her good fortunes and success in her adult life as a violinist but with this early celebrity I think that ship has sailed.

    Why do Slipped Disc even report on this, is something I can’t fathom.

    • paulaH says:

      There are many adults tripping up by young people these days. You sir sounds way too bitter. Take a chill pill.

      • Bob Slinger says:

        Harsh yes, but bitter? Are we not adults discussing child celebrity and it’s possible consequences? And if you are referring to the young Greta let me just say i’m a big fan of her and wish her godspeed. She’s not in it to be a celebrity but to change the world. I agree with her and applaud her effort. Maybe you are the one who needs to take a chill pill. /mic drop/

  • Una says:

    It will all end in tears like Charlotte Church.