Culture\Music and Theater

Gao Can's golden strings

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-16 07:49

Gao Can's golden strings

Gao Can plays a 400-year-old violin during his performance with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra in Guangzhou in September. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"Playing this particular instrument has opened up many more ways for me to express myself as a musician. It's also like I am traveling back in time," says Gao, adding that he wants to share its sounds with the audience.

During his upcoming recital, Gao will play programs, including Cesar Franck's Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major, Bach's D-minor Chaconne for Violin, Spanish composer Pablo de Sarasate's Gypsy Air and Franz Waxman's Carmen Fantasie. He will also play pieces by Chinese composers, including Qin Yongcheng's Hai Bin Yin Shi (Poem by the Seashore).

"I tried to make this recital's lineup as varied as possible because I want to show the versatile sound of the violin," says Gao, who has invited Hong Kong pianist Cheng Wai to join his recital.

Born in Chongqing, Gao started studying the violin at age 4, introduced to him by his musician father. He came to Beijing to study at the affiliated school of the Central Conservatory of Music in 1992.

"As a child, I didn't like playing the violin. Instead, I enjoyed listening to other musicians' performances," recalls Gao.

"I had a Walkman (portable player) and listened to music on it every day. By middle school I felt that the great violinists I was listening to then took us beyond music with their work-it was about the experiences they had gained in their lives."

He says "being a great soloist" then became his dream.

Unlike some other child prodigies who had won top national prizes early, Gao didn't win his first prize until he was 25 years old when he won the gold medal at the National Violin Competition in 2006.

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