Born in Chongqing, China, Yuan Zhou graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) under the guidance of Antonio Pompa-Baldi, where she obtained her BM and MM degrees within five years, and received The Arthur Loesser Memorial Prize in Piano. Yuan is currently in her third year of doctoral studies at the University of Miami Frost School of Music studying piano with Kevin Kenner. Her previous private teachers in China include Daxin Zheng, Hui-qiao Bao, and Jie Chen.
Yuan was the First Prize winner in the 8th Moscow International Frederick Chopin Competition for Young Pianists (2012, China Area) and the Excellent Performance Award and Special Award for Waltz (2012), as well as the First Prize winner in The First Piano Competition in Chongqing (2010, Junior A Group). During her sophomore year at CIM, she performed in the hosting pianofest at Mixon Hall, and won The Sadie Zellen Piano Prize for keyboard division. The following year, she was nominated by CIM to participate in the Gilmore Keyboard Festival and had a masterclass with Ingrid Fliter. Yuan has participated in masterclasses with Haesun Paik, Vladimir Feltsman, Phillip Kawin, Robert Hamilton, Stephen Hough, Kirill Gerstein, Jahja Ling, Alexander Korsantia, Boris Berman, and Andrzej Jasinski. She was one of 20 students to get accepted to the 2019 Piano Summer at New Paltz, and one of two pianists to get accepted to the 2022 Taos School of Music.