Gong Linna
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Gong Linna

Beijing, Beijing, China

Beijing, Beijing, China
Band World Classical

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Discography

Ye Xue - Night Snows, 2010, New Chinese Art songs, accompanied by string-quartet Chinese ensemble; KUKU MUSIC Beijing

Xiang'ge Qing Yun, 2009, Classical Chinese Qin-songs, KUKU MUSIC Beijing

Chinese Folk Songs, 2008, ARC Music, Great Britain

Jing Ye Si, 2006, Kukumusic Beijing

Zou Shengming de Lu (Walking the Path of Life), 2005, Kukumusic Beijing

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Bio

No Chinese superstar, no minorities’ bonus, no grandmother in the Mongolian grasslands, no Tibetan or Sanskrit language, no fancy stories, no commercial approach. But simply the best voice of China … would you believe? And are you really ready for Chinese music?

Born 1975 in Guiyang, Guizhou province (located in the South-west of China), Gong Linna first appeared on stage at the age of five. Since her early childhood she knew that she wanted to become a professional singer and so she began, at the age of 16, her studies at the Chinese Conservatory of Music in Beijing. From 1999 to 2005 she was soloist at the Zhongyang Minzu Yuetuan, China’s most renowned traditional music orchestra. In addition to many other awards, she won the Chinese National Singing Competition in 2000 as best female singer, including the Special Audience Award.
At that time, being close to the “big fame” in China, she decided to abandon this glamorous music scene, as it gave her too little artistic satisfaction. Starting over with field research, learning traditional singing techniques, studying Chinese classical qin-songs and working in chamber music constellations, she is now seen as the technically most capacious and innovative Chinese singer, showing an impressive ability to transform traditional vocal sounds into a contemporary art-form.
Today she is being invited by universities, music conservatories and even concert halls in China and abroad to give lectures and workshops on Chinese traditional singing technique. During the last years she has been performing different programs, in Europe staged on festivals like EUROPALIA, TFF, Stimmen, Les Suds a Arles. A recent highlight of her artistic career was the collaboration with the Hongkong Chinese Orchestra during the Hongkong Arts Festival in 2010.

Gong Linna on her life and music (written 2005):

When I think of my childhood I know that I have been very lucky. I wanted to be a singer ever since I was a little child, and fate often helped me to pursue this direction.
When I was six I began to attend Music School on Sundays. I liked it, I even spent the holiday periods there - as so many other children did - preparing concert programs and singing folk songs from many different parts of Guizhou. Guizhou is my home province in Southern China, a vast region with lush vegetation and high mountains. It’s situated in China’s wild south, where a great many different peoples live and many different languages are spoken. But at school we were all like a big family, and it was like a second home to me. The concerts we gave involved touring to many other parts of China, and they offered me a chance to get to know my own country better. And not just China. By the time I was twelve we gave some concerts in France, and stayed there for four whole weeks. It was a unique chance for me to discover something of the outside world. Just think of it: at this time Guiyang, my hometown, was still a fairly remote and underdeveloped place!
When I was sixteen I left home to enter the Chinese Music Conservatory in Beijing on middle-school level. Finally! I had been looking much forward to this. Coming from a very poor region, and speaking a really heavy dialect, I soon noted that my fellow students were laughing at me. But for my part I was still so happy with this opportunity – this chance to be at the Conservatory and to study there every day – that I simply couldn’t be stopped: I got up every morning no later than 5.00 AM and walked over to the classroom to start learning!

One morning, on entering the classroom, I observed that it was actually only 2.00 AM! On my way back I found that the door to the dormitory had been locked, so I had to sleep in the classroom on some hard chairs. But these were mere trifles to cope with. I loved studying, and I managed to become the best student of my age-group. This should have given me direct access to the highest level of the Conservatory. But unfortunately I was caught up in some enmity between my own teacher (a wonderful singer) and a leader of the Conservatory (a really bad singing teacher, I must say!) The latter – unsuccessfully – tried to stop me from entering the higher level training. He also caused me a lot of trouble and many lost chances in the next few years. Nevertheless, in 2001, I completed my studies, and got a great job as a solo singer with China’s most important orchestra for traditional music, the National Traditional Chinese Orchestra in Beijing (Zhongyang Yinyuetuan). It was a stroke of luck, and from this point onwards, my career began to sky-rocket. I was awarded the Second Price in a prestigious National Singing Competition, broadcast on TV throughout China, and I became famous almost overnight.

Did it make me happy? The success sure made me dizzy for a start! I got numerous offers and opportunities for performances, and was only too happy to oblige. And yet… there was something about these performances that was not ent