As one of the most internationally renowned Chinese pianist and conductor in the world, Xu Zhong is currently Music Director and Chief Conductor of Israel Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Principal Director of Fondazione Arena di Verona, General Director of Shanghai Opera House and Chief Conductor of Suzhou Symphony Orchestra. Between 2012 and 2015, he was Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of Teatro Massimo Bellini. 

Xu Zhong was born in a family of well-known physicians for generations in the city of Shanghai. At the age of 16, he received the rigorous formal piano music education in the class of Dominique Merlet at Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris with the sponsorship of Chow Ching Lie Foundation. 

Xu Zhong won numerous prestigious international competitions since 1988, including the First Prize at the Maria Canals International Piano Competition (1988), the Second Prize at the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition (1991), the First Prize at the Santander Paloma O'Shea International Piano Competition (1992), the First Prize and other five awards at the Tokyo International Piano Competition (1992) and the Fourth Prize at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow (1994).

Xu Zhong’s professional experience and achievements are twofold, both artistic and administrative. He is Founder and Artistic Director of Shanghai International Piano Competition. He was Artistic Consultant of China Shanghai International Arts Festival and Artistic Director of “French Culture in Shanghai", L’Année de la France en Chine 2003/2005. He was nominated as Music Consultant of Shanghai Concert Hall, member of Shanghai Grand Theatre Arts Group Artistic Committee and Vice President of Shanghai Oriental Art Centre Arts Committee.

Xu Zhong was awarded the “Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” in 2010, and was promoted as the “Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” in 2018 by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, France, for his contributions in classic music and cultural exchange.