Music to Inspire Your Heart

Many have said that classical pianist Tony Zhou, of Winnipeg, plays with heart.

They couldn’t have been more right on February 13, as Zhou gave a benefit concert at the Winnipeg Art Gallery as part of Wear Red Canada Day 2019.

His recital that evening was one of several events hosted by the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Alliance (CWHHA) Manitoba chapter, in conjunction with St. Boniface Hospital, to raise awareness about women’s heart health and heart disease.

These are important issues to Zhou, who is also a cardiology research assistant under Dr. Olga Toleva, an interventional cardiologist at the Hospital; she was one of the Wear Red Canada event organizers here. “I’m genuinely interested in this area (of medicine),” he said.

“It was simply great timing,” he said. “I was looking to give more concerts of this kind. When I learned how much Dr. Toleva valued music and the arts, she and I began discussing ways to integrate arts and medicine. The result was this meaningful day, organized for women’s heart health.”

These statistics are evidence that heart disease should be – and is – a major concern.

The number one cause of premature death for women in Canada is heart disease and stroke, he pointed out. 53 per cent of women who experience heart attack symptoms have them go unrecognized. “These statistics are evidence that heart disease should be – and is – a major concern. Having been raised by very strong women, I believe women make some of the most relevant contributions to our society. There needs to be greater equity in funding for awareness, education, and clinical research concerning their health,” said Zhou.

Zhou studied at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in the United States and he has performed as a soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. For the recital, he gave two 30-minute performances featuring works by Liszt and Schubert.


Fight heart disease. Donate to St. Boniface Hospital’s Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences today.

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