Tianyu Zhang, 2019 UVA Arts Council Distinguished Artist Award in Music

The UVA Department of Music is pleased to announce that Tianyu Zhang, a music and statistics major in the class of 2020, was selected for the 2019 UVA Arts Council Distinguished Artist Award in Music for demonstrating outstanding achievement in his musical study. Tianyu received the award at the Arts Council Reception in the Rotunda Dome Room in the fall of 2019.Tianyu Zhang

The UVA Arts Council is a volunteer board of alumni and friends of the University that provides advocacy, advice, and support in the Arts at the University of Virginia. The Council strives to develop and strengthen the bonds of interest and participation among the Visual and Performing Arts & Architecture Departments & Programs.

The Arts Council initiative awards a $2,000 prize to an outstanding rising 4th/5th year artist from the departments of Music, Drama, Studio Art, the Dance program & the School of Architecture. The Music Department faculty were invited to nominate rising 4th year students who demonstrate outstanding achievement in their respective area of study.  The department was asked to consider a body of work or a specific project that exemplified one or more of the following: superior execution of the art form, a deep understanding of the subject matter and artistic process, and/or originality and creativity"

The following is an excerpt from the nomination submitted by the music department in support of Tianyu:

Tianyu Zhang is a rising fourth-year student who has distinguished himself in music scholarship, composition, and performance.  A versatile musician who engages popular music, funk, jazz, and experimental works, he is adept at electric and upright (acoustic) bass, where his intonation, tone, and rhythmic sense are exceptional. Throughout his time at the University, Tianyu has demonstrated fearless engagement with new ways of conceiving and expressing music. His performance of a piece by Coltrane at his DMP audition was almost a recomposition, realized with total confidence. In addition to playing regularly in various Jazz combos and the New Music Ensemble, Tianyu is one of two performers who has premiered a new work by composer Judith Shatin this year and has devoted a great deal of time learning the unique graphic notation devised for the work. The Department of Music is proud to nominate Tianyu Zhang to the Arts Council Distinguished Artist Award for his talent and demonstrated commitment to musical arts.

Tianyu has been selected to give a Distinguished Major Jazz Bass Recital on Saturday, March 28th, 2020 at 8pm in Old Cabell Hall. This recital is supported by the Charles S. Roberts Scholarship Fund. The Distinguished Major Program in Music allows outstanding music majors to work on large-scale projects during their last two semesters at the University.

Nicholas Rupert was the recipient of the 2018 UVA Arts Council Distinguished Artist Award in Music, which was the inaugural year for this award.


UVA Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176

Email: music@virginia.edu