Dr. Weicheng Zhao is the first Chinese native to win top prizes in international and US national organ competitions, with the added honor of receiving the Audience Prize each time. He was a featured recitalist at the American Guild of Organists West Regional Conventions in 2015 and 2019. At the invitation of Jean Guillou, Dr. Zhao played a solo recital in Paris at the Saint-Eustache Festival d'orgue, 2011. As an ensemble player, he has performed concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel, Zubin Metha, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and others. He was also invited by the LA Phil to be a featured artist on their Chamber Music Series concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall. His performances can be heard on National Public Radio (Pipedreams).
Dr. Zhao has transcribed over 60 pieces including solos, concertos, and chamber music. In addition, his pop music arrangements for piano were published in 15 volumes by Publishing House of the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing. His commissioned work, a transcription of Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges for three organists (six hands, six feet, one bench) was premiered by Ken Cowan, Alan Morrison, and Cherry Rhodes in 2017. His commissioned work by the American Guild of Organists West Regional Convention, a transcription of Stravinsky’s Fire Bird for three organists, has transfixed audiences and colleagues, and was premiered at the 2019 Convention.
Dr. Zhao also plays the Electone Organ (which features orchestral and newly developed electronic sounds). In 2007, he was the first Chinese to win the Yamaha International Electronic Organ Competition in its 43-year history. He went on to become a leading performer of international stature. He was selected to perform as soloist at significant celebrations, such as the National Day of China, and the World Economic Forum Summer Davos.
Currently, Dr. Zhao is the Director of Music/Organist-Choirmaster at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California where he conducts two 45-voice adult choirs. Additionally, he serves as a faculty member and the College Organist at Pomona College. Born in Tianjin, China, Dr. Zhao came to the United States in 2009 to pursue study of the pipe organ - a new instrument for him at the time. In 2018, he was awarded his Doctor of Musical Arts degreefrom the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music, where he studied with Cherry Rhodes.