Photo of Aiwen Zhang and Valentin Kovalev

Allegro Presents: Sound Bursts Saxophone Duo

The 2022-2023 Allegro Concert Series begins with the saxophone duo of Aiwen Zhang and Valentin Kovalev. Come early for light refreshments in our new Members' Lounge. Concert will begin promptly at 6:00pm.

About the artists:

Aiwen Zhang, saxophonist, born in China, came to study in the United States in 2020. Zhang accomplished the specialist degree at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance under the direction of Dr. Timothy McAllister. She holds degrees from the Paris Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Her primary saxophone teachers have included Timothy McAllister, Claude Delangle, Chien-Kwan Lin and John Sampen. Zhang has performed across North America, Europe and Asia and has shared solo and chamber music performances at venues including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center in New York City, Beijing National Centre for the Performing Arts, Prince Mahidol Hall in Bangkok, Université Européenne de Saxophone, Shanghai Concert Hall, Zhejiang Concert Hall, Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris and Shandong University of Arts. She has been a featured soloist with orchestras including the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra and Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra. Aiwen Zhang has been a prize-winner at prestigious music competitions including the 5th Jean-Marie LONDEIX International Saxophone (JMLISC) Competition, the Prix de Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition and the Lima Symphony Young Artist Competition.

Classical saxophonist Valentin Kovalev is the first Russian saxophonist to enter the Paris Conservatory as an undergraduate and to be admitted to the graduate program at the University of Michigan. He has received awards from several foundations in France and Russia, including the Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation and the Fondation Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet pour la vocation. As a soloist, he has performed with several major symphony orchestras, including the New Russia Orchestra, the Orchestra of Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Center and the Tchaikovsky Big Symphony Orchestra. Among Mr. Kovalev’s many prizes at international competitions is the MTNA Young Artist Woodwind Competition (2021), University of Michigan Concerto Competition (2021), and unanimous First Prize in the Online Saxiana International Competition (2021), He participated in a tour of 9 cities in China in 2019 with Saxophone Quartet, “Trioton.” Together with the Rostropovich Foundation and the Russian Seasons, Mr. Kovalev has participated in concert tours since 2016 in Germany, France, Luxembourg, and Belgium. Valentin began his education in Barnaul, Russia and obtained his Bachelor’s degree at the Paris Conservatory with Claude Delangle. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree with Timothy McAllister at the University of Michigan. Mr. Kovalev is an artist of Henri SelmerParis, and is an Astral artist.