Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Irina Voro

Second Advisor

Dr. Lance Brunner


Although China traditionally did not have keyboard instruments of its own origin, the country has taken to the modern piano exceedingly well. In the past decades, piano performance and education have progressed at an impressive rate, its popularity reaching unprecedented heights. The virtuosity of Chinese pianists has earned them prizes at renowned international competitions. These developments have sparked the interest of scholars as well as the general public.

First introduced to China around 1840, the piano was slow to be accepted, but interest grew steadily in the twentieth century. Missionaries and foreigners were the first piano teachers, with figures like Mario Paci having trained a number of fine pianists and educators. His student Zhou Guangren, is currently one of the most respected piano professors in China. Born in 1928, her life parallels the history of the piano in China. In this document, I describe three principles of her piano pedagogy and performance style as well as outline specific problems she identified in the music education system. In addition, I present a recent history of the piano performance in China and explore some causes for its successes and issues.

A long-standing and widely discussed issue is the relationship between technique and musical expression in piano education. I maintain that the current educational model is imbalanced, placing too much emphasis on technical abilities while lacking in aesthetic depth.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)