Pianist and music educator Zhou Guangren, who passed away on March 7.[Photo provided to China Daily]
Concert performer and educator Zhou Guangren leaves behind a legacy of expertise and appreciation, Chen Nan reports.
Zhou Guangren, a renowned pianist and music educator, died at her home in Beijing on March 7 at the age of 93.
Her career as a musician spanned decades. She performed as a soloist worldwide and was known as a tireless music educator, training many Chinese pianists.
With the country’s classical music scene booming and many children learning music, especially the piano, Zhou was frequently invited to appear at music competitions and give master classes to young Chinese music students-both professionally trained young people and amateur music lovers.
“As a prominent member of the faculty at the Central Conservatory of Music, Zhou was devoted to music education during her lifetime,” according to an obituary issued by Beijing-based Central Conservatory of Music, a top music school in the country where Zhou worked for more than five decades, on March 7. “She made a great contribution to China’s piano music. She was the ‘soul’ of China’s piano music education.”
A commemorative event was held in Beijing on Friday.
Born in Hannover, Germany, in 1928, to a Chinese couple, who were overseas students, Zhou returned to China with her family and settled down in Shanghai in 1933.
She studied at a German school in Shanghai and became interested in playing the piano at around 9 years of age. Her father was not supportive of the idea that his daughter was going to become a pianist because he believed that Zhou, with her language talent, would become a diplomat.
With Zhou’s persistence, her father rented a piano and let Zhou study the musical instrument. She fell in love with the instrument and even decided to drop out of school to concentrate on learning it.
At 16, Zhou started to teach younger children to play the piano to make money and pay for her own music tuition, since her father stopped paying for her piano classes.
“I was very attracted to the classical music world. There are so many beautiful music pieces by composers like Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven. I was eager to learn. The happiest thing for me to do every day was to practice those music pieces,” said Zhou in an earlier interview with China Central Television.