The Segal Award, created in honor of the former chair of Lincoln Center's board, is given to two "rising young artists in recognition of outstanding achievement in their respective disciplines." It includes $5,000 for study and career advancement.
Jason Ritter, an actor who appeared in Wendy Wasserstein's Third at the Lincoln Center Theater last year, also won the award, which was presented at a luncheon on March 6.
The winners of the Segal award are chosen by Lincoln Center's 12 constituent organizations on a rotating basis. Zhang was nominated by the Philharmonic; Ritter was selected by Lincoln Center Theater.
Born in China, Zhang studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. In China, she served as conductor-in-residence of the China Opera House in Beijing and conductor of the JinFan Symphony Orchestra. She was music director of the concert orchestra of the Cincinnati Conservatory from 2000 to 2004.
Zhang first came to Philharmonic music director Lorin Maazel's attention when she shared first prize at the 2002 Maazel-Vilar Conductor's Competition. She served as a cover conductor for the Philharmonic in 2002-03 and 2003-04, making her debut with the Philharmonic in February 2004. She was named assistant conductor in September 2004 and associate conductor in July 2005.