Violist Ning Zhao joined the Charlotte Symphony in 1995. Born in Guangzhou, China, Ning came to the U.S. in 1986 to further his music education. He then graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Music in Violin performance in 1990 and went on to earn a Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1993. His principal teachers include Robert Vernon, Marcia Ferritto, Si-Hon Ma, Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio and Zhu-Han Pan. Additionally, he was coached by many of the renowned artists of this country such as Roberto Diaz, Alan DeVeritch, Joseph DePasquale, the Muir Quartet and the Carvani Quartet.
Before joining the Charlotte Symphony, Ning played with many orchestras both in the U.S. and in China. He has performed several solos with the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra, as well as the Kent State Sinfonia. On October 31, 2013, Ning performed the world premiere of a viola concerto by the famed Chinese-Canadian composer An-Lun Huang with the Hunan Symphony Orchestra in Changsha, Hunan Province, China.
When he’s not performing with the Charlotte Symphony, Ning collaborates with colleagues from the CSO and with other artists on numerous chamber music events, performing in a wide variety of musical styles and ensembles. He has been actively involved in the Charlotte Symphony's community and school outreach programs and has participated in much of the development and presentation of school curriculum-based interdisciplinary projects. He also maintains an active private studio. Ning has been a part time actor represented by Carolina Talent Agency since 2009. He was casted for numerous commercial and films projects. He was on the stage with the Children's Theatre of Charlotte's production of ' Akeelah and the Bee' in early 2020.
In his spare time, Ning enjoys tennis and golfing, as well as cooking, reading, investing, and oil painting.