Born in Xi’an, China, Xiangyu Zhou began studying clarinet at age 10 with Yu Wang and Zheng Chi at the Xi’an Conservatory of Music. After winning first prize in the TOYAMA Asian Young Artist Competition in 2002, Zhou obtained his bachelor and master degrees from Juilliard, where he studied with Charles Neidich. He is also an alum of Interlochen Arts Academy.
Zhou co-founded PUFF! Woodwind Quintet, winner of the 2009 Arriaga Chamber Music Competition. PUFF! was a featured group at Juilliard’s annual Focus! Festival and made its Kennedy Center debut in May 2010. After relocating to Shanghai in 2011, Zhou co-founded the 1380 Woodwind Quintet, performing in the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series and Shanghai Music Hall Music Afternoon Series. Zhou collaborated with the Shanghai Quartet at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center in 2013.
Zhou served as associate principal clarinet in the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra from 2011 to 2015. Zhou toured Asia and Europe with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Zhou also served as guest assistant principal clarinet with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 2016, and E-flat clarinet with the Guiyang Symphony Orchestra in its 2016–2017 season.
Zhou was a guest faculty member at the Shanghai Conservatory Middle School and has also given master classes at the Manhattan School of Music and Interlochen Arts Academy. Zhou is currently pursuing his doctorate at the CUNY Graduate Center.