The Chinese violist Ziyu Shen was born in 1997 and first started playing the violin at the age of four. She switched to the viola at the age of twelve and started to study with Li Sheng at the Music Middle School affiliated to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She has taken part in master classes with Yuri Bashmet, Lars Anders Tomter, Antoine Tamestit, Roberto Díaz, Pinchas Zukerman and Gábor Takács-Nagy.

Ziyu has won first prize in a number of international major competitions. In 2013 fifteen-year-old Ziyu won first prize in the 11th Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and was the youngest winner ever. In 2012 she also won first prizes in the Johansen International Competition in Washington DC and the Morningside Music Bridge Chamber Music Competition in Canada. Another first-prize was awarded her in the 2014 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York.

Ziyu has given successful viola recitals in venues such as London’s Wigmore Hall and Royal Festival Hall and the National Centre for the Performing Arts in China. She has also taken part in the Verbier Festival Academy, where she was awarded the Academy Prize for viola. As a soloist, she has worked with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in Canada, and the Shenzhen and Qingdao Symphony Orchestras in China.

Ziyu took part in the Kronberg Academy Festival in 2013 and 2015 and in Chamber Music Connects the World in 2014. Since 2015 she has been studying at Kronberg Academy with Nobuko Imai. These studies are funded by the Annika und Wolfgang Fink Stipendium.