Tina Guo

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Tina Guo
Tina Guo in SF 2018.jpg
Background information
Born (1985-10-28) 28 October 1985 (age 33)
Shanghai, China
GenresClassical, film score
InstrumentsCello, erhu, vocals
Years active1994–present
Associated acts

Tina Guo (Chinese: 郭婷娜) (born 28 October 1985 in Shanghai, China) is a Chinese-American cellist and erhuist from Shanghai. She has developed an international multi-faceted performance and recording career as a cellist, electric cellist, erhuist, and composer known for her distinctive sound, videos that showcase her talent against theatrical backdrops and elaborate costumes, mastery in a wide range of genres, and improvisatory style in major motion picture, television, and game scores. At age five, she moved to the United States.[1] She has appeared as a soloist with the San Diego Symphony[2] the National Symphony Orchestra (Mexico), the Thessaloniki State Symphony in Greece, the Petrobras Symphony [pt] in Brazil, and the Vancouver Island Symphony in British Columbia. She also performed with violinist Midori Goto in Dvorak's American String Quartet at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and completed four national tours of Mexico and Italy performing the Shostakovich, Dvorak, Haydn, and Saint-Saëns Cello Concertos. She toured as a featured guest with Al Di Meola, Yoshiki of X Japan, and recently appeared with the Tenerife Symphony and Choir in the Canary Islands performing "Batman: The Dark Knight" Suite at the Tenerife International Film Festival, featured on Electric Cello. In June 2015, she performed as a guest soloist at the 2015 Kraków Film Festival in Poland.[3]

Early years[edit]

Tina Guo was born in Shanghai, China to father Lu-Yan Guo, a concert cellist, and mother Fei-Fei Soong, a concert violinist, both who are the artistic director of the California International Music and Art Festival, an annual event held in San Diego, California. Tina began playing piano at the age of 3 in China, but once she and her family moved to America at the age of 5, she began violin lessons with her mother. Once she hit the age of 7, she began studying the cello under the instruction of her father. Both her parents forced her to practice 6–8 hours a day. At the age of 10, Tina joined the Civic Youth Orchestra.

After graduating from Poway High School, she went to attend the USC Thornton School of Music for professional cello studies on a full scholarship, where she studied under Nathaniel Rosen and Eleonore Schoenfeld, one of the most influential cellists of the 20th century, who also taught Rosen and Guo's father. During her freshman year, Guo started dating a guitar player of an 80s style classic metal band, she went to one of their shows one night at The Whiskey in Hollywood, the experience influence her to figure out how to take the cello in to the heavy metal style. While still studying classical cello in school, Guo began experimenting with pedals and different techniques, trying to figure out how to play the cello and sound like a guitar player. While the fingering for both instruments were virtually the same, it took her three years and many YouTube videos to figure out what she was doing.

Guo eventually left USC in her junior year, despite having a full scholarship to attend, after she found it increasingly difficult to balance performing and going to classes. Her parents were very angry and didn't understand her decision at the time – and for a long time afterwards, over time they got used to it.

Musical career[edit]

In 2007, she toured Australia with Metaphor, an all-girl crossover band.[4] Guo played with the Foo Fighters at the 2008 Grammy Awards, and with Off the Deep End she played at the wrap party for the Sundance Film Festival.[5]

With Midori Gotō, she played in Antonín Dvořák's String Quartet No. 12 at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. With pianist William Joseph, she performed in Majorca, Spain for the International Philanthropy Summit.

From 2011-2013, Guo toured as the featured electric cellist with Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour.[6]

Guo performed alongside Johnny Marr of the Smiths and Hans Zimmer at the Premiere of Inception, and in a sold-out concert for DreamWorks with Hans Zimmer and John Powell, featuring her as soloist on electric cello and erhu. She recently performed for the League of Legends World Championship to a sold out arena at Staples Center in Los Angeles and an audience of 33 million streaming online. Guo was featured on the Electric Cello in a super-band for the event with The Crystal Method, Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit), Danny Lohner (NIN), Joe Letz (Combichrist), and the Hollywood Scoring Orchestra. Guo has also been a featured performer at Comic Con, Blizzcon, and with Video Games Live. In 2015, Guo will be featured with Video Game Music Band Critical Hit, performing at most of the Wizard World Comic Cons. She will also be featured in Baroque-Rock group Vivaldianno's "City of Mirrors" Tour appeared in arenas throughout Europe in June 2015.

Guo was featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show playing "Beat It" on electric cello, and also performed at the American Country Music Awards with Carrie Underwood, on Dancing with the Stars with Carlos Santana and India Arie, Jimmy Kimmel Live with Ellie Goulding, the Lopez Show with Far East Movement, the Grammy Awards with the Foo Fighters, at the MTV Movie Awards, on American Idol, at Comic Con in San Diego featured on the electric cello in the Battlestar Galactica Orchestra, and with Brazilian guitarist Victor Biglione in a Jimi Hendrix Tribute Concert at the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro. She also performed at the Sundance Film Festival, the Playboy Mansion, and has shared the stage with The Tenors, Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Josh Groban, John Legend, LeAnn Rimes, Chris Isaak, Il Divo, Ariana Grande, Lupe Fiasco, Common, Jennifer Hudson, and Michael McDonald. Corporate clients have included Microsoft, Cephalon Biopharmaceutics, Adecco and the PGA.

The instrumental metal music video for her song "Queen Bee" won Best Short Film/Music Video at the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival. Her songs "Queen Bee" and "Forbidden City" are also available for download to play for Rock Band on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Metal Hammer Magazine UK described Guo as "an international sensation" [7] and she was also featured in Glamour Magazine Russia with a two-page spread.

She has toured with blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa as part of a diverse all acoustic backup band, and Hans Zimmer.[8]

As of 30 October 2017, she is touring as a headlining act to promote her album "Game On!" with John Huldt on Guitar, Kfir Melamed on Bass and Frank Klepacki on Drums.


Guo recorded her first solo CD, Autumn Winds, a classical/new-age album. Her other album releases include Journey, Ray of Light, Eternity, Tina Guo & Composers for Charity, A Cello Christmas, and many singles. Her current albums in production are Cello Metal, a full length metal album and Hollywood's Greatest Themes, an album of famous soundtracks re-imagined.

Guo is featured on screen in commercials for Mazda6, and United Airlines, and was also a featured soloist in Cirque Du Soleil's Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour from 2011 to 2013 performing in sold out arenas around the world. Guo performed to 2 million audience members worldwide with the tour, and they topped the charts for 2 years as the highest grossing tour in America and sold out shows in arenas worldwide. Guo is also featured on the Epic Records/Jackson Estate release "Immortal," replacing the original guitar solo in "Beat It" with an Electric Cello/Guitar Battle-style duet with guitarist Greg Howe.

Guo was the cello soloist on the scores of Sherlock Holmes, Iron Man 2, Clash of the Titans, Red Riding Hood, Abduction, Olympus Has Fallen, Escape Plan, CSI: NY, Vikings, The Borgias, Sleepy Hollow, Iron Chef America, Blizzard's Diablo III, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Revelation Online 2015 by Chinese game giant Netease, and Journey, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. Guo can also be heard on the soundtracks of Inception, Hancock, Battle: Los Angeles, The Hangover Part II, Predators, Fast Five, Arthur, No Strings Attached, Beginners, Public Enemies, Rango, The Rite, X-Men: First Class, Your Highness, Yogi Bear, The Mentalist, Family Guy, American Dad!, The Cleveland Show, King of the Hill, Dunkirk, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, commercials for Apple iPhone, Under Armour, and many others. Guo also contributed Electric Cello to the creation of elements that were used by Sound Designer Scott Martin Gershin in the creation of the Kaijus in Pacific Rim. Her arrangement and performance of "The Flight of the Bumble-Bee" was featured in the end credits for The Heartbreak Kid and she was an additional composer on the feature film Persecuted. The Tina Guo Sample Library by Cinesamples is one of the most popular cello solo libraries available on the market today, used by composers and producers in countless media music projects.

Guo is featured on the cello in an instrumental set piece for the 100th episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.[9]

Guo has recorded on hundreds of albums, with artists such as John Legend, Ciara, David Archuleta, and Big K.R.I.T. She was featured on Al B. Sure!'s new single, "I Love It," from his upcoming album Honey I'm Home and was also featured on Two Steps From Hell's album SkyWorld.

Inner Passion, her 2016 collaboration with pianist Peter Kater for Hearts of Space Records, debuted at number four on the Billboard New Age Albums chart.[10]

She is also notable as the soloist on electric cello creating the theme for Wonder Woman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice with Hans Zimmer.[11] Tina Guo has also worked with Rupert Gregson-Williams on music for the Wonder Woman standalone film.[12] In October 2018, she featured on the Jennifer Thomas (pianist) album 'The Fire Within'.

Guo has also provided music as a Composer and Producer for Mercedes, Call of Duty: Ghosts, MTX 4, the Official Launch Trailer for video game ArchAge "A Way Home," and the Official Trailer for feature film "The Best Offer." Together with electronic music producer Syleth (Ray Armando Morabito,) their music can be heard on WWE Smackdown, WWE Monday Night Raw, NHL Rivals, Chopped, Mission October on Fox Sports, Inside the PGA Tour, Road to Ferrari, and Against the Odds on the American Heroes Channel.


Guo performs on an 1878 Gand & Bernardel. On electric cello, she plays the Custom Tina Guo Model Yamaha SVC-200; she is endorsed by Yamaha[13] and played their instrument at the NAMM Show 2009.[14][15]

Personal life[edit]

Her first published work as an author is "Event Horizons of Yin and Yang", a collection of philosophical prose and poetry.

Charity work[edit]

Guo is a passionate supporter of the Academy of Music for the Blind, Partners in Health, Animal Welfare Institute, Homes for our Troops, and Child Find of America. In 2015, she released a Charity album with 13 film/TV/media composer friends called "Tina Guo & Composers for Charity." 100% of the proceeds from the album go directly to Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation in support of music education.

In October 2016, Guo signed an exclusive recording contract with Sony Music and her debut Sony album called Game On! was released on February 10, 2017.[16][11]


  • Autumn Winds (2011)
  • The Journey (2011)
  • Eternity (2013)
  • Ray of Light (2014)
  • A Cello Christmas (2014)
  • Inner Passion (2015) (with Peter Kater)
  • Cello Metal (2015)
  • Game On! (2017)


  1. ^ Jewles, Jizo. "Interview with Tina Guo". Archived from the original on 2010-01-10. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
  2. ^ Tagami, Kirsten (2008-02-20). "Cobb Symphony stays put for at least another year". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
  3. ^ "Tina Guo - Tetris Tinas invite you to the 8th Krakow Film... - Facebook".
  4. ^ "Classical Crossover". Courier Mail. 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2015-03-26.
  5. ^ Η Tina Guo με την ΚΟΘ (Tina Guo with TSSO) Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra (Greek)
  6. ^ "Three questions with Tina Guo, cellist for 'Michael Jackson Immortal'". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Tina Guo".
  8. ^ "About". Tina Guo. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  9. ^ Guo, Tina (2015-04-07), "[Info on Episode 100; premiere date confirmation]", (Self-published), Instagram, retrieved 2015-04-07.
  10. ^ "Peter Kater Chart History". Billboard.com. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Cellist Tina Guo takes video game music into the charts with her album 'Game On'". Euro News. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  12. ^ "Wonder Woman Has Another Special Ability in Tina Guo". News Ledge. March 5, 2017.
  13. ^ Tina Wood and Metaphor Ymaha Music Australia
  14. ^ Yamaha Thrills at Winter NAMM 2009 Yamaha Australia
  15. ^ "Yamaha Thrills at Winter NAMM 2009". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Home".

External links[edit]