Gao Hong performs traditional Chinese music at Winona State

Gao Hong performs traditional Chinese music at Winona State

Allison Mueller

Jose Herrera / Winonan

Gao Hong, a musician from China, performed the pipa, a Chinese musical instrument, at Winona State University’s Performing Arts Center on Thursday Sept. 15.

The pipa is a 2,000-year-old instrument well known in Chinese culture and similar to a four-string lute or guitar.

Hong began practicing the pipa at the age of eight, and by the age of 12 she had become a professional musician. Hong is now teaching Chinese music at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. She likes to travel the world and has been to Europe and Australia performing both solo concerts and also major festivals.

As Hong played the pipa at her performance, you could feel the passion in every stroke. One of the pieces Hong played was about the moon and how the moon connects people together, no matter where they are in the world. She further explained that whenever you eat a mooncake, you are reminded that your family and friends are near just by looking at the night sky.

Hong arrived at Winona State for the first time nearly 20 years ago. Before this, she toured the U.S. in 10 major cities including Cleveland, Minneapolis and New York City.

Hong played a song using her pipa in honor of her mentor, Lin Shicheng, who is a master at traditional Pudong style pipa music.

“I always play this song to honor my mentor and master as it brings happiness,” Hong said.

Students at the concert were enlightened as the sound of her pipa echoed around them. It brought relaxation and ease as a fragrance of peace filled the room.

-By Jose Herrera