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Instrument has potential to make lasting impression on the global stage

Updated: 2016-05-04 08:13:19

( China Daily )

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[Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]

The erhu and violin don't have much in common, except that both are stringed instruments and are played using a bow. However, for Chinese erhu player Guo Gan, the similarities between the two instruments don't end there. He says that like the violin, the erhu can be enjoyed by audiences worldwide.

Guo, 48, who started playing the erhu as a 4-year-old in Shenyang, an industrial city in Northeast China's Liaoning province, has so far released over 40 albums as a soloist and a band member in a variety of music genres, such as rock, jazz and classical music.

He has also taken the unfamiliar sounds of the ancient Chinese instrument to nearly 2,000 concerts worldwide, working with hundreds of international musicians, including French jazz violinist Didier Lockwood and Chinese pianist Lang Lang.

On April 25, Guo, who moved to Paris in 2000, was named a Knight of the Order of the Arts and Letters by Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, the French ambassador to China.

The honor, which was created in 1957, has been given to other Chinese artists, including actress Zhang Ziyi and film director Feng Xiaogang. It recognizes those who have distinguished themselves through their work in the artistic or literary domain in France and the world.

Trained by his father, Guo Junming (1940-2010), an erhu musician and educator, Guo Gan says that learning to play the erhu is a family tradition.

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