Zhao Cong: Bringing traditional Chinese music to a new generation

Full Frame

Zhao Cong Chinese pipa player Zhao Cong wants to bring traditional Chinese music to the world.

With a lifespan of almost 2,000 years, the pipa is one of the most favored instruments in traditional Chinese folk music. But the popularity of rock and pop music amongst the younger generation has created the fear of losing this distinct and ancient sound.

Zhao Cong, one of today’s most talented pipa players, has made it her mission to inspire a younger generation to listen to the classical sounds. She has incorporated pop sounds into her recordings and even created a patent for her electric pipa.

“To attract more young people, we should add modern elements into traditional music,” explained Zhao.

Zhao Cong: Bringing traditional Chinese music to a new generation

Zhao Cong: Bringing traditional Chinese music to a new generation

Pipa player Zhao Cong brings the music of China to the world.


Zhao has made waves globally too. Her personal pipa album Sound of China was published by Universal Music Group – a powerhouse in the recording industry. This was the first Chinese traditional instrumental music album in the company’s history.

“I think music really has no borders,” said Zhao.

There is an old saying in China: “what belongs to the nation belongs to the world.” In this week’s Full Frame Close Up, Zhao Cong showed us how she hopes the music of the pipa can also belong to the world.