Biography

2015 - 2016 Medalist of the Knights in French Literature and Arts. (Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, Knights of the Order of France in Arts and Letters also referred as the Medal of the Knights.) He is the world's first Chinese national folk musician’s recipient, and the world's first Chinese erhu performers who won the award. Member of the French Artist Composers Association, UNESCO invited artist. Guo Gan had won the first outstanding Chinese artist award for civilization and dialogue, honorary director of the Chinese National Orchestra Association. He is also the first Chinese erhu performer won the 20th World Outstanding Chinese Artist Award.

 

Guo Gan started learning erhu in early childhood from his father Guo Jun Ming, also a renowned erhu master, music educator, vice president of Erhu Institute of Chinese Musicians Association, director of Chinese folk music department of Shenyang Conservatory of Music. Master Guo Gan is a profound musician with comprehensive Erhu techniques and multi-talented. Graduated from 1991 with a bachelor degree in music (Erhu), from Shenyang Conservatory of Music, Guo Gan also specialized in percussion from Professor Lu Shanqing. He has also founded a few contemporary popular bands; the most well- known one would be GYQ Jazz Band.

In 2001, Guo Gan studied in France and obtained his Master’s degree from the National Music School of Fresnes in Paris. During this period, he founded his first Chinese Jazz band – Dragon Jazz in Paris and won the second place at the European Chinese musician competition in Belgium in December 2002.

Through Chinese traditional erhu music, Guo Gan has worked with many musicians, artists, orchestras across the world and traveled more than 80 countries. He had played over 5000 concerts, recorded and published more than 60 albums. He has performed in many movies, such as [[KungFu Panda 3]], [[Shaolin]],  [[L’Idole]], more than 40 Chinese and Western movie music. Master Guo Gan had also performed in world class concert hall such as New York Carnegie Hall, New York Lincoln center concert hall, Chicago Symphony Center, California The Orange County performing Arts Center, Geneva Victoria Hall, Paris Cite de la Musique, Paris Palais des Congres, Poland Wroclaw Philharmonic Concert hall, Japan Tokyo Theater, Tokyo Suntory Concert Hall, Brazil Rio Samba Theatre, Mexico city Plaza theatre, and many more Chinese theatre, concert hall, over 100 Chinese venues performance etc. 

Guo Gan has played with many of the world famous musicians such as Lang Lang, Yvan Cassar, Didier Lockwood, Gabrel Yared, Hans Zimmer, Jean Francois Zygel, Nguyen Le and many others. His performance with Lang Lang in Europe and the United States have not only been highly recognized and praised by the media, but also gained popularity among music lovers around the world. In 2005, he worked with the famous French conductor Yvan Cassar, with the French Paris Opera Symphony Orchestra in Paris, at the largest theater Palais des Congre symphony "Chinese ink" dozens of games. His collaboration with the French master of the violin, Master Didier Lockwood has triggered the French audiences’ love of the Chinese erhu. Guo Gan has performed numerous times with different orchestral across the world, such as The National Symphony Orchestra of the New York Symphony Orchestra, the French Paris Opera Symphony Orchestra, the French Paris Massy Symphony Orchestra, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and the Polish Symphony Orchestra, the French Nice Symphony Orchestra, many different Chinese Symphony Orchestra, performing concerts with large audiences.

His music involved in different genres, such as world music, classical music, jazz, ballet, opera, modern music, film music and, pop music. He has been highly recognized by the media, Steve Smith, editor of the New York Times Arts Page wrote, 'Mr. Guo, a magnificent performer, shaped melodies with the expressive contours of vocal lines in Hua Yanjun's "Moon reflected on the Er-Quan Spring" and provided flourishes that might give a violinist pause during Huang Gai Huai's "Horse Racing".' Mark Swed, a music critic for the Los Angles Times, also gave high regard to Guo Gan's performance with Lang Lang: 'Guo was a wonder, his Erhu sweetly filling the air with an astonishing sweet and sumptuous sonic perfume, which Lang accompanied with exquisite sensitivity.' Guo Gan has many compliments from different oversea media, being the “The world’s most active erhu artist who promotes Chinese culture.” Mexico and Brazil and other mainstream media in South America called Guo Gan, "He is the cultural bridge himself." Japan's Economic News, "The two strings master who played the main theme of Sino-Japanese exchange.”


 

In 2004, numbers of French television stations and radio had personal interviews with Guo Gan, and called him "master of two strings." In the eyes of the French media, he has become a symbol of the Chinese erhu, the French "Vogue Morning Post" in 2011 had written a feature article on his performance "Guo Gan, Erhu King of China." In 2013, the French most authoritative magazine "L'express" reported: "Guo Gan, Chinese erhu master. He used his traditional instruments throughout the world with various musical style." French jazz media praised him as the: "Erhu master boldly opened a window for the jazz." France's largest newspaper Feijia FIGARO written a special report on him, "Guo Gan’s Erhu, shining on stages in the world." In 2014, the Xinhua News Agency held a special report on the outstanding artists before the appointment of Xi Jinping, titled "Guo Gan, the 46-year-old erhu master, and the civil envoy of Sino-French cultural exchange." In France for 17 years, he has taken the role of the cultural ambassador of Chinese and French cultural exchange. He has represented the French Ministry of Culture to China's Zhouzhuang and the Shanghai World Expo, the French Cannes International Film Festival, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France tour. In 2014, he performed at the Chinese and French humanities signing ceremony, 2015 Guo Gan jazz band participated the 2015 World Music Fair performances on behalf of China.

Besides his ardent pursuit of music, Guo Gan has been actively participating in charitable works around the world. In the past few years, he played at events organized by UNESCO, for instance, working with Tan Dun, the famous Chinese composer in 2012 in Hangzhou Grand/Theatre, promoting the theme of cherishing the world's water resources. He has also worked with Lang Lang in Shenzhen at a themed performance to promote world peace. He has played for free for children in poverty in Africa, South American and remote regions in China. He had also joined the "Beau Soir" Erhu Guzheng duet concert, with the famous Hong Kong guzheng musician Ms. Zou Lunlun in Hong Kong and Yokohama & Tokyo, Japan along with Chinese-Canadian accompanying pianist Jessica Yuen. In recent years, Guo Gan returned to their hometown to perform for his home folks. He repeatedly performed numerous Spring Festival Evening TV productions with world renowned Pianist Lang Lang and singer Huo Zun, creating an amazing Chinese artistic combination, triggered the Chinese national audience of traditional music love and sensation again.

In 2015, the French government and the Ministry of Culture awarded the highest honor of French arts - Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, Knights of the Order of France in Arts and Letters' to Master Guo Gan. He is the world's first Chinese national folk musician’s recipient and the world's first Chinese erhu performers who won this award. On April 25, 2016, in Beijing, The French ambassador to China held a grand award ceremony, the French ambassador, Mr. Gu Shan on behalf of the French president and the government personally award Guo Gan to wear The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Order of France in Art and literature, also referred as the Medal of the Knights. This award is to recognize his contribution to the world, promote Chinese music and French music as a true erhu master. Various news media also attended the event, such as Xinhua News Agency, People's Network, CCTV, France Fagar newspaper, French television and other hundreds of media reports.

In summer 2017 Guo Gan performed at the 30th year of French largest summer music festival, Violon Sur Le Sable, performing with the Paris opera Symphony on the beach of Royan with over 60,000 audiences. Performing his composition, “Himalaya” along with the Symphony, they have also incorporated his singing of Chinese traditional tune, along with his famous “Racing horse” with the orchestra for the concert evening. During the same month, he also led his Guo Gan & Mathias Duplessy Crazy horse band, Violins of the World, into the Chinese CCTV TV production set of "Bright Chinese," into the finals with hundreds of millions of viewers.  Judges and audiences review and complimented them as, "a perfect east meets west combination, the band of the new Silk Road.”