by Marzia De Giuli
ROME, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) — For the first time, Italy has awarded an important music prize to a Chinese pop folk singer, Gao Ying, which she said will further help the promotion of China’s music abroad.
Gao, a singer from China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, was the first Chinese pop folk singer to win the “Premio Lunezia” 2014, an Italian national award which annually honors the best songs for their musical and literary value.
Internationally well-known artists such as Andrea Bocelli and Laura Pausini have been awarded in the past editions.
The awarding ceremony was held last month in Marina di Carrara, a seaside resort in Tuscany region, central Italy, where the prize, one of the most prestigious music awards in the country, was created in 1996.
Premio Lunezia Chairman Stefano De Martino said in a television interview that the jurymen were particularly hit by the quality of Gao’s music and by the literary value of her songs’ lyrics.
“I was surprised and felt very lucky to get public recognition,” Gao told Xinhua in a recent interview.
Her love for music was influenced by her father who played erhu and sang opera every day during her childhood, she recalled. Her first album, Dai Di Dao, was published in 2011.
“I grew up in Xinjiang, and Xinjiang music has always been in my blood,” she told Xinhua, referring to the ethnic feeling of her music, which she said can help “bring out the cultural characteristics of China’s Northwest.”
Gao stressed that China is a country with a huge musical tradition which has many treasures to show to the world.
“All of China’s 56 ethnic groups have their own local characteristic music styles and cultural background,” she highlighted.
The Premio Lunezia was a valuable platform to make China’s pop folk music more known in Italy and in the world, Gao said.
But in order to grasp such important occasions, more cooperation and international exchanges are necessary to be created, the singer added.
For example, Gao’s music was first made known in Italy thanks to the Italy-China cultural exchange and promotion center ICCX, which is based in the Mediterranean country. ICCX helps the promotion of Chinese music abroad and also brings Italian music to China.
After her successful experience with the Premio Lunezia, Gao told Xinhua that she is planning to cooperate with excellent musicians from different countries for her next album, which in addition to pop folk music will also include other styles.