Free Workshop on Feb. 25 with Nathania Ko
Music Unearthed from the Silk Road:
This workshop will introduce the past and present of the Konghou— an instrument that once flourished along the Silk Road, but was extinct since nearly 400 years ago. Traditional and modern techniques will be demonstrated on this rare and unique instrument, and its significance within ancient music and the appearance among desert murals will also be introduced. The instrument’s long history was intertwined with religious rituals and it also was a symbol of high status. Ever since the Han Dynasty, the non-native instrument turned intrinsic and was soon irreplaceable in traditional Chinese music, until its sudden vanishing in the Early Qing Dynasty…
About Nathania Ko:
Nathania Ko is a Konghou player, Harpist, and composer based in Vancouver, Canada. She obtained her Master’s degree from the University of British Columbia, studying the Harp with Elizabeth Volpé Bligh, and a Bachelor’s degree from Shenyang Conservatory of Music in China, where she studied the Konghou with Hong He.
Nathania was a finalist at the 2022 World Harp Competition held in Utrecht, Amsterdam by the Dutch Harp Festival, and she was also a finalist at the Creative Media Competition held by the 13th World Harp Congress in Hong Kong, where she served as a member of the hosting committee. Nathania has given lecture recitals and masterclasses in major cities such as Vancouver, Xi’an, Beijing, Shenyang, and virtual academies such as the Virtual Harp Summit. In 2019, Nathania presented her research, “Music Unearthed from the Silk Road,” at the MUSCAN conference. Her students are located across the globe in the UK, China, USA, Canada, Singapore, Ireland, and France.
Nathania not only plays the Western Harp, but she is also the only Konghou (Chinese Harp) player in Canada. She is engaged in international World Music events and has been involved with music festivals such as the premiere Silk Road Music Festival in Xi’an, and Wu Man’s Improvisation Workshop in Beijing. She is an active performer in Vancouver and China, and her compositions became Konghou examination repertoires that have been awarded gold and silver prizes in major Chinese national competitions. As a cultural bridge between Chinese and Canadian music, Nathania’s extensive travel and performances were supported by grants from the Canada Arts Council and the British Columbia Arts Council.