Yi Zhou joined the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra as Principal Violist in December 2015. Prior to his appointment at SF Ballet, he was named Principal Viola of the Los Angeles Opera by Music Director James Conlon and Placido Domingo. Yi has made recent appearances in the international music scene, including performing the Bartok viola concerto with the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, a recital at the celebrated St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, performances at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and a performance at the Three Rivers Music Center in California. He was selected as Principal Viola of the Pacific Music Festival in Japan in 2008 under the baton of Fabio Luisi, and returned to the Festival in 2009 and 2010. Yi has also performed with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.
Yi is an active chamber musician. He has collaborated with renowned artists including Menahem Pressler, Arnold Steinhardt, Ronald Leonard, Quatuor Ebène, Fiato Quartet, and the New Hollywood String Quartet.
Among his awards and honors, Yi won first prize at the 2007 British Royal Overseas League Competition and the 2005 Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Concerto Competition. The latter led to a public performance of the Gyula David Viola Concerto.
Yi studied with Paul Coletti at The Colburn School of Music where he graduated with an Artist Diploma degree. Previously, Yi studied with Kim Kashkashian at the New England Conservatory in Boston and Jiri Heger at Singapore’s prestigious Yong Siew Toh Conservatory. Yi has performed in master classes with such artists as David Takeno, Paul Silverthorne, and Annette Isserlis.