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Tunes of bravery

Updated: 2021-08-05 08:42 ( China Daily )
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Reaching out

As a leading pipa player in China, she has performed at many national events, including the concert held at the G20 Hangzhou Summit in 2016.In 2019, she gave a performance at a concert in Moscow to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Russian diplomatic relations.

On July 16, Zhao played during the opening ceremony of the 44th Session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee in Fuzhou, Fujian province.

Earlier this year, Zhao was appointed president of the China National Traditional Orchestra. She says her vision is to use traditional musical instruments to show the world more about Chinese culture.

"I've seen how foreign friends are impressed by Chinese musical instruments, so I am confident that traditional Chinese music will attract a broad audience not only in China but also in the West."

In 2014, US pop star Katy Perry performed in Beijing. During her stay in the city, she visited the China National Traditional Orchestra.

Zhao recalls when more than 90 musicians from the orchestra played Perry's hit song, Roar, with Chinese instruments like the guzheng (plucked zither), erhu (two-stringed bowed instrument) and pipa, she sat backstage, wiping her tears of joy.

"Perry told us that she was so touched by the beautiful music and she described the afternoon as a highlight of her trip to China," recalls Zhao.

"It is a good example of mixing the musical forms of the East and the West. Though our traditional Chinese musical instruments are very old-some over 1,000 years, they can reach today's audiences, the younger generation in particular. They are capable of blurring borders and genres."

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