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Nathania Ko

Born in Vancouver, Canada, Nathania Ko expressed an interest in music at an early age. During her years of primary and secondary education, she had mastered the piano, French Horn, and Guzheng, and had received the “Top Music Student” award multiple times. Being extremely fond of world music, Nathania established a Chinese Heritage Instrumental Club (CHIC) in her secondary school, which grew to include over 20 members. As an academically accelerated student, she was accepted into several top North American universities - but in that same year, she encountered the Konghou.

After travelling to Beijing to learn about the rare instrument, Nathania decided to give up her opportunities at home to study the Konghou in China. Just 2 weeks after starting to practice the instrument, Nathania was invited to the 12th World Harp Congress held in Sydney, Australia. While there, she had the chance to perform in a masterclass and at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Sydney, in addition to acting as the principal Chinese-English translator for both events.

In 2014, Nathania began her studies at China’s Shenyang Conservatory of Music with Professor He Hong, and started to learn the Western Harp with Elizabeth VolpĂ© Bligh, Principal Harpist of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Since then, Nathania has performed at many major theatres in Vancouver, including the Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse, and River Rock Theatre. She had also received the honour to play for BC Premier Christy Clark in February 2015. Competing in the 2015 Kiwanis Music Festival under the Chinese Ethnic Instruments category, Nathania received 1st place.

On April 8, 2017, held by the West Coast Harp Society, Nathania performed Canada's Premiere Konghou Solo Concert- ""Music Unearthed from the Silk Road"", performing a total of six solo pieces and one Konghou and Harp duet.

During May 2017, Nathania was the first Konghou player to attend the Global Musician's Workshop held by Yoyo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. Her instructors were three prestigious world musicians: Wu Man, Sandeep Das, and Bassam Saba.

From July 7-13, 2017, Nathania will attend the 13th World Harp Congress as a member of the sub-committee, as well as give a performance with Chinese folk dancer Dong Mei. Their collaborative piece received the “Honorable Mentions Award” for the Creative Media Competition organized by the Congress.

As the first and only Canadian learning the Konghou, she strives to contribute to the cultural bridge between China and Canada, while expanding the knowledge of world music in her multicultural motherland.

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