MILTON, Ga. - A metro Atlanta piano prodigy is gaining fans around the world, and performing at top venues like Carnegie Hall in New York. It’s a busy life and career for a musician who’s only seven-years-old.
We started our interview with Milton’s William Zhang by doing a little fact-checking.
“William, I know everyone says you’re 7-years-old...are you seven, or are your 57?”
The boy at the piano laughs at the question. “I’m seven! Not 57!”
But William Zhang has accomplished more in those seven years than many of us could ever imagine. In 2019 alone, he won the American Protégé International Piano and String Competition, received a proclamation from the City of Milton, and even played at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
"When I was in New York, in the hotel, I felt a bit nervous. But when I was in the Carnegie Hall, backstage, I didn't feel nervous at all,” says William of the experience. “I just felt it as fun as playing video games with another friend of mine."
William started piano lessons at the age of four, displaying an immediate affinity for the keys. Today, he’s homeschooled, and practices at least one to two hours per day. And while he’s playing, William is letting his mind wander, imagining images to go along with the music: “ When I play K. 545 Sonata, First Movement by Mozart, I can see a rabbit hopping around!"
That vivid imagination is a reminder that even with the incredible talent, William Zhang is still a seven-year-old. When he’s not playing piano, he says he likes to head upstairs to his playroom, where he stays busy with Lego bricks and toy cars.
But judging from the look on his face when he plays, William Zhang’s first love is piano — and it’s a love he wants to share with everyone who listens to him play.
"Piano brings joy to me, and I want to spread that joy to the audience."