Jing Zhao, the leading Chinese cellist of her generation, won the 1rst prize of the prestigious ARD international competition in Munich in 2005 and went on to receive the 2009 Exxon Mobil Music award in Japan. The Great Seiji Ozawa chose her as soloist, together with the violinist Vadim Repin, the pianist Lang Lang and the Singer Kathleen Battle, for the opening new-year concert of the China National Center for the Performing Arts . He had already been instrumental in helping her move to Berlin where she studied at the Karajan Academy, as well as studying privately with Yo-Yo Ma and Maestro Rostropovich.
She has performed with noted conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, Lorin Mazel, Ricardo Muti, Andris Nelsons, Myung-whun Chung, Muhai Chang, Mikhael Pletnev, Yuri Bashmet, Kenichiro Kobayashi, Jean Fournet and Eliahu Inbal among others. Orchestras that have invited her include the NHK Symphony, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Beijing Symphony, the Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra, the Munich Chamber Orchestra,Berliner Symphony Orchestra, The Hong Kong Philharmonic, the KBS Philharmonic in Seoul, the NDR Symphony orchestra, the Philharmonica della Scala, the Sydney Symphony and the Singapore Symphony.
While in Berlin, Jing Zhao became a very sought after chamber music partner, collaborating with artists such Emmanuel Pahud, Guy Braustein , Daishin Kashimoto, Paul Meyer, Boris Berezovsky, Eric le sage, Antoine Tamestit, Konstantin Lifschitz and Trevor Pinnock. She toured in Asia with Myung -whun Chung, where they were invited to perform together with H I H Crown Prince Nahurito of Japan.
Festivals where she performs include the celebrated Jerusalem festival, Zagreb international festival, Zagreb chamber music festival,Roland’s Ecke in Bonn WH, Bad Kissingen, Istanbul international festival, Argerich’s Beppu festival, Folles Journees, Pietrasanta in Concerto.
Jing Zhao has recorded 5 cd’s for Victor entertainment in Japan. In 2017 she has recorded two CD's with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra featuring a Russian album with the Shostakovich cello concerto, a Chinese album and two Tan Dun's Cello Concertos in London with Maestro Tan Dun conducting. Jing Zhao plays on a Montagnana Cello (1738) on generous loan from a private Foundation.