Professor Peter Shi-xiang Zhang was born in Beijing, China and graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1956. He was a Violin Professor at the Shanghai Conservatory from 1956 until his retirement in 1995. He has contributed to the raising standard of violin performance and training of young violinists in China through his introduction of new ideas on the art of violin playing and his translations of many books on violin performance into the Chinese language.
The outstanding results of his violin teaching have resulted in many awards being presented to him. The late Lord Menuhin described him as “one of the greatest teachers in the world”. He was awarded a certificate for outstanding teaching by the Shanghai Conservatory in 1985 and a similar award for excellence in teaching by the Art and Literature Association of Shanghai awarded him in 1986. The Chinese Central Government awarded him the highest honor for his excellent work in violin teaching in China in 1994. In 1995 he was selected by the Bao-Gang Educational Foundation as the best teacher and by Shanghai Government to be in "THE TOP TEN OF 1995".
In September 1995, Professor Zhang and his pianist wife Hu Jian-ming immigrated to Australia under the "distinguished talent" category. He is at present a violin lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Australian Institute of Music. Since he arrived in Australia, his students in Australia have been successful in both national and international competitions and awards, including the ABC Young Performer Award and the Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition. His previous students include Ray Chen.