Robert Zollitsch (composer)

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Robert Zollitsch
Born 1966
Munich, Germany
Nationality German
Other names Lao Luo (Chinese: 老锣; pinyin: Lǎo Luó; literally: "Old Gong")
Occupation Composer, musician, producer, ethnomusicologist

Robert Zollitsch (born in 1966 in Munich, Germany) is a composer and producer of new Chinese music. He is known as Lao Luo (Chinese: 老锣; pinyin: Lǎo Luó, literally "Old Ro/Gong"[1] in China, and established himself as an expert of traditional Asian music and a very important composer of contemporary Chinese art music.

Zollitsch grew up with the Folk music of his home region, Munich, Germany, learning early in his childhood a classical Bavarian folk music instrument, the Bavarian zither.

From 1986 to 1990 he studied music theory and graduated from the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin. In 1993, he was awarded a scholarship to study Chinese traditional music and the Chinese zither Guqin in Shanghai.

Zollitsch is known as an expert in Chinese, Mongolian and Tibetan art music. He has been producing and working with Chinese musicians or singers as Gong Linna, Urna, Du Cong, Qiu Ji, Luo Yan, by composing pieces for traditional Chinese instruments that make extensive use of harmonies, fusing together elements of different cultures, which leads to music that seems to be of traditional Chinese art music style with a western influence, sometimes sounding like music of Mozart or Vivaldi or like pop music. The result is a style that is uniquely "Robert Zollitsch".[2][3]

He has written and produced, under his own label, KuKu Music, over a dozen recordings of contemporary Chinese art music, all of which have caused a sensation in Europe, Taiwan and Southeast Asia. His Chinese audience describes his music as "very Chinese, but with an exceptionally novel touch".[2]

He is married to the Chinese singer Gong Linna, for whom he has composed and produced music in albums like Jing Ye Si (2006) and Ye Xue (a.k.a. Night Snows, 2010). The Jing Ye Si album contains a piece of the same name that uses as lyrics one of the most famous poems by Tang dynasty poet Li Bai, "Quiet Night Thoughts".

Since 2003 Robert Zollitsch has lived in Beijing, China.

In February 2011, during the celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year, his new experimental work "Tan Te" (Perturbed) sung by Gong Linna was popular around China, especially among netizens.[4]


  1. ^ "Luo" is the transliteration of "Ro" in "Robert" in Chinese. "锣" itself means gong at the same time.
  2. ^ a b (no title), Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra website Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Press information Archived 14 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine. for concerts at Hotel Bayerischer Hof, Munich
  4. ^ "Tan Te" (Perturbed) (in Chinese)

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