This weekend, San Antonio native Nancy Zhou returns to South Texas, and David Mairs, the music director of the Mid-Texas Symphony, couldn’t be happier about it.
“Am I blessed, or what?” he exclaims with a smile.
Zhou began studying violin at an early age under her father, Long Zhou. After graduating from Keystone School, she continued her studies at Harvard University and the New England Conservatory. Now 22, her concert appearances have taken her around the globe, but she’s not jaded. Mairs says that’s something he has enjoyed when working with younger performers.
“With young soloists, it’s rare to see anybody young who’s doing well come in with that attitude of, ‘Well, this is my 52nd Tchaikovsky violin concerto. I’ll do it, where’s the check?’ There’s a freshness [with young performers]. Everybody benefits from that!”
Mairs has enjoyed a long relationship with Zhou, dating back to when she was an eight-year-old violinist with the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio.
“She could play well, but she had the attention span sometimes… of an eight-year old!” he recalls.