Foreign students at Lunlun Zou‘s studio are not an uncommon sight. However, most recent visit of a student from Germany deserves a mention.

Fourteen year old Norman Bravo Sazo is not a typical German kid. Unlike most of his peers who are easily influenced by television and foreign films, Norman has chosen to follow his heart. Norman can tell what is beautiful, what music to listen to and what music to play. Chinese music and Chinese instruments are Norman’s choice.

Norman is enjoying his new custom guzheng, which he purchased from Lunlun Zou.

For the past 2 years, Norman has been learning the art of playing guzheng and erhu with Zhengfang Zhang in Stuttgart, Germany. Eventually, his love for Chinese culture has brought him to visit Lunlun Zou in Hong Kong, buy a very special custom guzheng and take several lessons.

Norman enjoyed interacting with Lunlun Zou’s students.

Continuously for 3 days Norman has been a student at Lunlun’s studio and eagerly learning new techniques and new songs. Being exposed to such stimulating environment, Norman felt inspired to practice harder and for longer periods of time.

Norman demonstrated his skill in front of other Lunlun Zou’s students and everyone was very impressed. This was a proof that his teacher in Germany, Zhengfang Zhang, is doing a great job.

Besides the joy of teaching Norman, Lunlun Zou enjoyed having the opportunity making an acquaintance with his mom, Paula Royce-Bravo Sazo, a professional violinist with the Nationaltheater Mannheim. Their visit was one to remember.

Mannheim, Germany, 12 June 2005

Although it is not my practice to make trusted contacts over the internet, I am glad I did in the case of Lunlun Zou.

Having been in the music profession as a violinist in an excellent opera orchestra for 25 years and a private teacher for even longer, I have been deeply impressed with the high degree of authority demonstrated by Ms Zou in all aspects of the art of guzheng. She and her husband have donated much time and effort not only in providing us with a first class instrument at a very reasonable price, but also in encouraging my son to develop his potential by spending generous amounts of time with him during our three-day visit to Hong Kong from Mannheim, Germany, where I have been promoting classical Chinese music performance on original instruments.

She has also been careful to strike a balance in her teaching by allowing him to play according to his own style, yet giving necessary musical intelligent tips without stifling his individuality. She imparts a positive motivation making students want to work harder and excel to new heights.

She is also a very sociable teacher, encouraging students to play together, which is very important later on in ensemble playing.

We are very grateful to Lunlun for her work reaching out to the world with new developments in raising the art of guzheng to new heights through knowledge of repertoire, what makes a good instrument and strings, technique, various styles and schools of playing, teaching, performing, making contacts with other leading international guzheng authorities and composers, and her openness for new ideas and styles.

Her own playing is executed using a wide dynamic range, pulling a very full sound coupled with a high degree of virtuosity as well as freedom of movement and expression within the rhythmic context of the works she plays.

I look forward to having her and Peter as a future guest performers and teachers here in Mannheim, Germany for our developing Chinese music program.

Paula Royce-Bravo Sazo