Pipa musician Zhao Cong: combining tradition and the new to attract today’s youth
Published: Jul 22, 2021 07:23 PM
Chinese <em>pipa</em> player Zhao Cong Photo: Courtesy of Zhang Ying

Chinese pipa player Zhao Cong Photo: Courtesy of Zhang Ying

It has been a shared mission for many Chinese artists to tell the stories of China through various art forms. For musician Zhao Cong in particular, she has always considered China's traditional musical instruments to be the most effective way to help people get to know the country better. 

The musician has traveled the world with her signature pipa, a traditional Chinese string instrument, and on July 16 performed at the opening gala for the Extended 44th Session of the World Heritage Committee in Fuzhou of East China's Fujian Province. 

The renowned pipa player has not only mastered traditional classics, but has also produced several new innovative crossover songs. 

For instance, Zhao is also known to many Chinese game players as contributing to the theme song of the Chinese mobile game, Honor of Kings. When the new character Yunying appears, Zhao catches the player's attention with the clear and unique sound of the pipa

Zhao saw this crossover cooperation with the game industry as a new attempt to bring more young people into the world of traditional music. 

"To attract young audiences, you can't simply rely on presenting purely traditional music, but need to incorporate popular and cool elements to create something new," she said.  

In June, Zhao also worked with British soprano Mary-jess Leaverland on her piece "Leaving" to promote China's ancient music heritage overseas.