Music makes the world go round. People of different cultures come together to produce something worthwhile and worth remembering by others of different ages and backgrounds worldwide. Among them are Chinese musicians and soloists who have produced countless timeless compositions that have captivated audiences worldwide.
Here are Chinese musicians that have been recognized at the Grammy Awards:
1. Jiebing Chen
In 1997, Jiebing Chen received a Grammy nomination in the Best World Music Album category for Tabula Rasā, a collaborative album with Béla Fleck and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. Jiebing Chen is world-renowned for being an erhu virtuoso and cross-cultural performer. An erhu is a Chinese two-stringed musical instrument that is held on the lap and played with a bow.
By playing the erhu, she brought a new sound to the Chinese, American, and European symphonic concert halls. Chen has reinvented the erhu for the 21st century, collaborating with modern jazz and world music artists. She is known to be the most recorded erhu artist in the world with over 20 CD titles available internationally.
2. Wu Han
In 2015, Wu Man received a Grammy nomination for Best World Music Album for Our World in Song, which features folk songs from around the globe arranged by her, Hawaiian instrumentalist Daniel Ho, and Cuban percussionist Luis Conte.
Wu Man is an acclaimed pipa virtuoso and notable leading ambassador of Chinese music through her career as a soloist, educator, and composer. She received training in the Pudong School of pipa, a considerably prestigious and classical instrument of Imperial China.
She has led multiple projects and collaborations with different artists to help preserve and create more awareness of China’s ancient musical traditions and reach wider audiences. She was the first to receive The Bunting Fellowship at Harvard University in 1998, the first Chinese traditional musician to receive The United States Artist Fellowship in 2008, and the first artist from China to perform at the White House.
3. Guanqun Yu
Guanqun Yu won a Grammy award for Corigliano: The Ghosts Of Versailles in 2016 in the Best Opera Recording category. She won for a performance in two acts, set in the afterlife of the Versailles court of Louis XVI, who aims to please the ghost of the beheaded Marie Antoinette through staging an opera.
She’s a soprano who has also performed in international opera houses and concert halls, playing the roles of heroines in the operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Giacomo Puccini, and Giuseppe Verdi.
4. Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble
Yo-Yo Ma is a world-renowned cellist and has performed with orchestras around the world. Born and raised by two Chinese parents and educated in New York City, he has been performing since the age of four and a half and has since graduated from The Juilliard School and Harvard University.
In 1998, Yo-Yo Ma started a non-profit organization, Silkroad, formerly the Silk Road Project, Inc., which aims to promote multicultural artistic exchange through collaborations. In 2017, Yo-Yo Ma and the non-profit’s musical collective, Silk Road Ensemble, won a Grammy Award for Sing Me Home in the Best World Music Album category.
He went on to receive 18 Grammy Awards and record more than 90 albums, ranging from classical to folk music. Furthermore, he was included in TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.