2017 Lunar New Year Concert Introduction 2
PIPA GODDESS ZHAO CONG
Your music is so exciting that I must stand up to listen to it.
- Australian former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Zhao Cong is the musician persistently walking between the ancient and the modern.
- Danny, Director of International Department of Universal Music Group
Chinese Pipa virtuoso Zhao Cong is praised by her fans as the Pipa Goddess. She is the Chief Pipa Performer of China National Orchestra and one of the most excellent and famous musicians in Chinese music world.
Born in a musicians’ family, Zhao Cong received her Pipa education at early age. After graduating from China Central Conservatory of Music, she has toured and performed in more than 30 countries and her music was heard by international audiences at top class venues around the world, including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Barbican Centre, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Sapporo Concert Hall, Odium of Herodes Attius, Concertgebouw of Amsterdam and Grand Theatre of St. Petersburg etc. She personally performed for many world leaders and the presidents such as Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Clinton and Kevin Rudd. On 5 Sep 2016, Zhao Cong soloed at China Hangzhou G20 Summit and was very well acclaimed by the world leaders and the international media.
Her Pipa Album the Sound of China was published by Universal Music Group (UMG) that is the first Chinese traditional instrumental music album in history of UMG Group. The album has been collected by Chinese National Library and American National Library. Jeff Rona, Grammy Music Awards Jury said “the Sound of China is the most beautiful Chinese traditional music album I ever heard.”
Zhao Cong is a winner of many competition awards, including Gold Award of 2013 San Jose International World Music Competition by United Association of American Musicians and the Award by China Ministry of Culture for her great contribution to promote traditional Chinese music overseas. She was the first artist-scholar to visit the Stanford University and was Authenticated of the Maestro Performer of International World Music Instruments by Arts Council San Jose with commends that “Zhao Cong has been widely acclaimed for her music talent and performance ability”.
Zhao Cong is accredited to be the judge to many national and international music competitions, the Distinguished Artist of China Day in Harvard University and the Special Guest Artist at 2015 Chinese New Year Concert by Ivy League. She is also appointed as the councillor and senior judge of San Jose International Art Festival.
Zhao Cong has composed some of her pipa music. Her original composition of Apsaras (Flying Fairies) on the Silk Road for pipa concerto was awarded the Grand Prix at the first China National Arts Fund awards. In late 2015, Zhao Cong was appointed Composer-in-Residence by Apple Inc. together with the world known composer Tan Dun.
Zhao Cong is revered for her devotion to promoting Chinese folk music and introducing Pipa to the world. She endeavoured to make her performance of ancient and classical pipa music in a modern and fashionable sense. She also involved into innovation of traditional pipa to a modern Crystal Pipa and used it in performing contemporary of modern Chinese music that achieved great success and warmly welcomed by critical world audience.
Zhao Cong’s talent music skill and persistent efforts to introduce the pipa into the world has won great praise and acclaim on the international front. The Guardian commented: Zhao Cong’s perfect performance promises Chinese new national music. The mainstream media in the world honoured her as “a music diplomat’ to use “Pipa to convey the beauty of Chinese folk music to the world, and has made great contributions to the internationalization of Chinese music”.