Lizhou earned his B.A. degree from The Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China, where he studied viola with Cen Yuan Ding, Situ Huacheng and Sui Keqiang. He received his Master’s degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, studying with John Graham. Lizhou’s prizes include first place in the 1988 SUNY Concerto Competition, performing “Der Schwanendreher” with the Stony Brook Orchestra. He also won the “Menuhin Prize” at the Portsmouth International Quartet Competition in 1982. Lizhou has held positions as Assistant Professor of Viola at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music and served as principal viola with Beijing Chamber Orchestra and Tchaikovsky Chamber Orchestra in New York.
As a soloist, he performed modern composer Chen Yi’s viola concerto, “Xian Shi” with the Beijing Film Orchestra, the Central Opera Orchestra and the Central Philharmonic in China. Lizhou was principal violist of the Savannah (Georgia) Symphony for 13 years and was featured frequently as a viola concerto soloist. In 2000, he performed Don Quixote with Yo Yo Ma and the Savannah Symphony and in 2002 he performed Berlioz’ “Harold in Italy” with the Hilton Head (South Carolina) Orchestra. Currently he is principal viola with the Hilton Head Orchestra and the Savannah Philharmonic.