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About Yadong Guan

You can know more about Yadong Guan and Pipa from following Radio programs and TV intervews:

  • Interview with Jill Forget. CBC Ottawa

  • Interview with CKRL, Quebec city

Discover the pipa, discover Yadong Guan: a mesmerizing musical encounter with one of China’s hidden treasures


Hailing from Beijing, Yadong Guan is a true musical ambassador who brilliantly masters the pipa, a traditional Chinese instrument that is over 2,000 years old. Handling the metal and nylonstringedinstrument with impressive virtuosity, Guan uncovers one of her country’s hidden treasures, offering audiences a truly exotic experience. Those who have been privileged to watch her perform have been enraptured by her profound artistic sensitivity and by the sounds of the pipa, which range from delicate and gentle to brisk and powerful.


Since her arrival in Canada in 1997 (she now resides in Ottawa), the pipa virtuoso, who studied under master Lin Shi Cheng for seven years, has been sparking much curiosity and admiration, whether she presents herself in solo recitals, as a soloist with orchestras or with various small ensembles. In addition to giving concerts dedicated to traditional Chinese music, Yadong Guan has adapted a wide variety of Western music to her instrument, from classical works (Bartók, Debussy, Vivaldi) to selections from the Quebec song repertoire (Gilles Vigneault, Claude Léveillée).


A gifted composer, Yadong Guan also explores the many technical subtleties of her instrument through her own works. Moreover, the elegant virtuoso has toured Canada on several occasions (with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts), and her brilliant playing is immortalized on two recordings. What’s more, her exceptional contribution to the development of Chinese culture has won her several prestigious accolades, including a ministerial prize, awarded at the UN World Women’s Conference in 1995, and in 1993, she was elected “Miss Capital” by the Women’s Association of Beijing and by the television of Beijing. At the Moncton Film Festival 2010 she recently received the award of « The best original scores » for the music of the movie « They killed my cat », and also received the award « Outstanding artist 2010 » given by the Toronto Fairchild TV and Talentvision TV.


Although the uncommon aspect of her instrument arouses the fascination of the general public, come discover this mesmerizing performer... and let yourself be fascinated!

  • Le Telejournal,Atlantic (See videos page)


  • Absolutely Ottawa: Strings, CBC (See videos page)

About pipa

Mentioned in Chinese passages which date back to over more than 2000 years, the pipa is one of the most ancient instruments still played in present times. During the Tang dynasty, between 618 to 907 A.D., pipa became the most appreciated instrument in China. Since then, its popularity has never decreased over the centuries, while its repertoire and technique have been transmitted and developed from generation to generation.



Stringed with four metal strings, the modern pipa benefits from a range of more than three octaves due to its thirty frets, which are placed up to the center of it resonance chamber. Except when using five fingers on which artificial nails are placed for each performance, pipa shares some play techniques with classic guitar such as tremolo and arpeggios while its pear shape recalls the European lute.


Many years of training and practice are essential for the artist who wants to make the most of all the expressive resources this instrument offers. This is so because of its imposed technical requirements as well as the multiple subtleties that interpreting its repertoire represent.


Interview with CKRL, Quebec about Pipa

About Yadong's musical composition 

Yadong was invited often for musical composition or arrangement. Her talent and creativty in musical compositions, her understanding and capability of mastering the East meets West style made her well known among the musicians and compositers.


She was invited to the Des mots sur mesure II which hosted by Radio Canada, to compose a new piece based on the lyrics of Le ciel se marie avec la mer,by the late Jacques Blanchet, and to arrange j'ai plante un chene , a masterpiece by Gilles VIGNEAULT. She also arranged many songs for her own performance and other musicians.


Here a some extracts from her work:

  • j'ai plante un chene


  • Le ciel se marie avec la mer


  • The girl form Daban


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