At the tender age of three, Low Zi Yang, now 19, began his musical journey, initially with the piano. However, it was a fateful suggestion from his aunt when he turned four that led him to the violin, ultimately shaping his passion and vocation as one of Malaysia’s emerging classical musicians.
Low, a virtuoso violinist, has graced stages across Asia, North America, and Europe, recently securing the second prize at the Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition in Norway with the Trio Tokava. Comprising accomplished artists such as American pianist Nadia Azzi and Taiwan-born cellist Eugene Lin, this group was formed in Los Angeles earlier this year.
His accolades include first prizes in numerous national and international competitions, such as the Virtual International Competition Malaysia, Ipoh Music Festival, Brilliant Talent Discovery Awards International Music Competition, Malaysia Youth Music Festival Competition, EuroAsia Violin Competition, and Singapore Raffles International Music Festival.
Reflecting on his musical journey, Low shared, “I didn’t really like the violin when I was first introduced to it, but over time, it started to grow on me, especially when I got the chance to play in an orchestra with other people.”
Currently pursuing undergraduate studies at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, Low receives guidance from renowned musicians like violinist Martin Beaver, pianist Fabio Bidini, and cellist Clive Greensmith.
On November 25, music enthusiasts can witness Low’s much-anticipated debut with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP). Under the baton of MPO resident conductor Gerard Salonga, this performance is a highlight of MPO’s 25th-anniversary celebration.
Low’s journey with the MPO began in 2017 when he became the youngest concertmaster for the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO). His exceptional skills were showcased at the MPYO’s 10th-anniversary concert, propelling him into the spotlight in the local classical music scene.
Expressing humility about his achievements, Low said, “There are so many good musicians in this world; but I feel I’m very lucky because I am able to receive music education and have people to support me since I was very young to be who I am today.”
Acknowledging his father’s pivotal role in his musical pursuits, Low emphasized the importance of parental support for young musicians. He performs on a 1718 Francesco Ruggieri violin, on loan from Singapore’s Rin Collection, reflecting his commitment to the craft.
In addition to his solo pursuits, Low is an avid chamber musician, emphasizing the therapeutic nature of collaborative music-making. As he prepares for his homecoming performance with the MPO, Low’s dedication to his art and appreciation for life’s nuances underscore the profound impact of music on his personal and artistic growth.