Cellist Zlatomir Fung

Pianist Benjamin Hochman

January 22nd & 23rd, 2024


The youngest cellist ever to win First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, Zlatomir Fung is poised to become one of the preeminent cellists of our time. Astounding audiences with his boundless virtuosity and exquisite sensitivity, the 24-year-old has already proven himself a star among the next generation of world-class musicians.

As Artist-in-Residence with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the 2023/24 season, Fung appears at London’s Cadogan Hall and tours the UK with the orchestra. Further afield, highlights in North America and Asia include Fung’s debut with the Cleveland Orchestra, appearances with the Baltimore and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras, and a tour to Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Recent concerto highlights include his debuts with the New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, and BBC Philharmonic, as well as Detroit, Seattle, Milwaukee, Utah, Rochester, and Kansas City Symphonies.

Fung made his recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 2021 and was described by Bachtrack as “one of those rare musicians with a Midas touch: he quickly envelopes every score he plays in an almost palpable golden aura.” Other recent highlights include returns to the Wigmore Hall and appearances at the Verbier, Dresden, Janacek May, and Tsinandali Festivals, Cello Biennale, La Jolla Chamber Music Society, ChamberFest Cleveland, and the Aspen Music Festival.

Alongside demonstrating a mastery of the canon with his impeccable technique, Fung brings exceptional insight into the depths of contemporary repertoire, championing composers such as Unsuk Chin, Katherine Balch, and Anna Clyne. In 2023, under the baton of Gemma New and with the Dallas Symphony, Fung gave the world premiere of Katherine Balch’s “whisper concerto” with “jaw-dropping brilliance” (Dallas Morning News) as the dedicatee of the work.

A winner of the 2017 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the 2017 Astral National Auditions, Fung has taken the top prizes at the 2018 Alice & Eleonore Schoenfeld International String Competition, the 2016 George Enescu International Cello Competition, and the 2015 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players, among others. He was selected as a 2016 US Presidential Scholar for the Arts and was awarded the 2016 Landgrave von Hesse Prize at the Kronberg Academy Cello Masterclasses.

Fung was announced as a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Winner in 2022 and awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2020. He was named to WXQR’s Artist Propulsion Lab in 2023. Fung has been featured on NPR’s Performance Today and has appeared six times on NPR’s From the Top. He plays a 1717 cello by David Tecchler of Rome, kindly loaned to him through the Beare’s International Violin Society by a generous benefactor.

Of Bulgarian and Chinese heritage, Zlatomir Fung was born into a family of mathematicians and began playing cello at age three. Fung studied at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Richard Aaron and Timothy Eddy, where he was a recipient of the Kovner Fellowship. Outside of music, his interests include chess, cinema, and creative writing.

The accompanist

In all roles, from orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber musician to conductor, Benjamin Hochman regards music as vital and essential. Composers, fellow musicians, orchestras and audiences recognize his deep commitment to insightful programming and performances of quality.

Highlights of 2023-2024 include Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Boston Philharmonic conducted by Benjamin Zander and solo recitals in Jerusalem, Brattleboro and on Chicago’s Live from WFMT. His chamber music collaborations take him to Carnegie Hall, People’s Symphony Concerts, Kronberg Festival in Germany, and Krzyzowa Music in Poland. He conducts the premiere of Gilad Cohen’s Concerto for Harp, Strings and Horn, tours the US with cellist Zlatomir Fung, and curates the Kurtág Festival at Bard College New York.
Born in Jerusalem in 1980, Hochman’s musical foundation is laid in his teenage years. Claude Frank at the Curtis Institute of Music and Richard Goode at the Mannes School of Music prove defining influences. At the invitation of Mitsuko Uchida, he spends three formative summers at the Marlboro Music Festival.
Pianist on the international stage.
At 24, Hochman debuts as soloist with the Israel Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall conducted by Pinchas Zukerman. Orchestral appearances follow with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago and Pittsburgh Symphonies, and Prague Philharmonia under conductors including Gianandrea Noseda, Trevor Pinnock, David Robertson, and John Storgårds.
A winner of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Career Grant, Hochman performs at venues and festivals across the globe, including the Philharmonie in Berlin, Vienna Konzerthaus, the Kennedy Center in Washington, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Germany’s Klavierfestival Ruhr, and Lucerne and Verbier festivals in Switzerland.
The conductor emerges.
In 2015, Hochman developes an auto-immune condition affecting his left hand. He decides to pursue his longstanding interest in conducting, studying with Alan Gilbert at Juilliard where he is granted the Bruno Walter Scholarship and the Charles Schiff Award. He assists Louis Langrée, Paavo Järvi, and Edo De Waart and creates the Roosevelt Island Orchestra, consisting of some of New York’s finest orchestral and chamber musicians alongside promising young talent from top conservatories. Invitations to conduct the orchestras of Santa Fe Pro Musica, Greater Bridgeport Symphony, Orlando, and The Orchestra Now at Bard New York follow.
Recordings and recent projects.
Fully recovered, Hochman re-emerges as pianist in 2018. He records Mozart Piano Concertos Nos. 17 and 24, playing and directing the English Chamber Orchestra (Avie Records). He presents the complete Mozart Piano Sonatas at the Israel Conservatory in Tel Aviv, performs Beethoven sonatas for Daniel Barenboim as part of a filmed workshop at the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, and plays both Beethoven and Kurtág for Kurtág himself at the Budapest Music Centre.
Hochman is a Steinway Artist and a Lecturer at Bard College Berlin.
© 2021 Florida Keys Concert Association | floridakeysconcerts.com