London orchestra hires artist in residence, aged 14

London orchestra hires artist in residence, aged 14


norman lebrecht

September 24, 2021

The London Mozart Players have installed a violinist, Leia Zhu, as artist in residence, starting next month.

Leia is 14 and has an agent at HarrisonParrott.

She makes her debut on Saturday October 9, happily not a school night.

Her Youtube channel has a modest 9.5k followers.

Time will tell.



  • Patrick says:

    She has already performed with Rattle and the LSO.

  • William Boughton says:

    An incredible talent and charming young lady – a wonderful way to start the day, thankyou. We look forward to hearing her in the States one day.

  • Peter says:

    All the best for her. I wonder how it is for children to live in a world where adults are children as well.

  • FrauGeigerin says:

    I have taught several of this so called “geniuses”, and in my experience in 90% of the cases there is nothing outstanding in their artistry other than an impressive precocity. In most cases when they are in their middle twenties they are neither better nor worse than most professional violinists the same age.

    This girl is obviously very precious, but she has nothing to offer that a good professional violinist can provide at a higher level. The only reason to appoint her as an artist in residence is the interest of seeing a child playing the violin at a high level and attract more audiences with the myth of the “new Mozart”. Business is business.

    • Harry Dahlsjo says:

      Before the inevitable attacks from the non-musicians commence I want to say that I agree with you.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      It’s their ability at that young age to be able to play like that!! There is some truth in what you say, but in others there are runs on the board, eg. Trifonov, Wang, Malafeev, just to name 3. I’m unsure about specific violinists but I suspect their are very young prodigies who’ve made successful careers. History tells us about such children, but it’s never been adequate in explaining this (from a psycho-medical standpoint).

  • Vandu says:

    that’s way too young

  • Anna says:

    Sei meravigliosa…Bravissima. Grazie. Un abbraccio e un bacio.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Double wow!!!

  • Nick says:

    Excellent playing…..indeed, time will tell

  • Sidelius says:

    Frau Geigerin-such grumpy and irrational negativity! Do you imagine that the London Mozart Players are collectively just gullible, incompetent fools unable to discern real promise from mere facility? Was the London Symphony also acting like knaves to invite her? And Simon Rattle, just not quite bright enough to see either? This is clear-many precocious teenage violinists will not become the next Rachel Barton Pine, but virtually all future stars ARE precocious teenagers first. Have you even heard her?

  • Don Antonio says:

    Without knowing what her ‘Artist-In-Residence’ opportunity entails, it must be difficult to judge both the decision, and whether there is some ‘age inappropriate’ miscalculation being made. I have performed chamber music with her, and can assure even Frau Geigerin, that, as Artist and Musician, she has the chops. No worries here. Lucky ensemble to have her.

  • Philip says:

    I love her already she speaks english without that dreadful across the pond accent.

  • Paulo says:

    There will be a time where agents will tell people: “sorry sweetie, you are sixteen, you are too old to start a career”