Urna (singer)

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Born1969 (1969)
Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China
Mongolian name
Mongolian CyrillicУрна Чахар Тугчи
Mongolian scriptᠤᠷᠠᠨᠠ

Urna Chahar-Tugchi (born 1969[1]), known mononymously as Urna (stylized in all caps), is a Mongol singer and yangqin player from Inner Mongolia, China.[2] She currently lives in Bavaria, Germany.


Urna was born into a family of herders in the grasslands of the Ordos Plateau in Inner Mongolia,[3] a society where song was a ubiquitous part of everyday life.[4] Her first musical training was learning to play the yangqin – the Chinese dulcimer – from a Shanghai Conservatory of Music professor who was visiting Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia.[3] Then, at the age of 18, she moved to study at the Shanghai Conservatory, a challenging step since she had no knowledge of the Chinese language.[3]

She now performs around the world, and is based in Bavaria, Germany. In 2003, she was awarded the RUTH prize in Germany for Best International Artist.[3]

Discography and filmography[edit]

Urna has produced seven[5] albums of music on CD:[6]

  • 1995 – Tal Nutag (13 tracks) – with Robert Zollitsch (zither) and Oliver Kälberer (guitar, mandolin) – recorded in a Bavarian church, Mongolian songs and improvisations
  • 1997 – Crossing
  • 1999 – Hödööd (11 tracks) – with Robert Zollitsch (zither, vocal, percussion), Wu Wei playing the Sheng and Sebastian Hilken playing the cello and the frame drum – Mongolian songs and original compositions
  • 2001 – Jamar (10 tracks) – with Robert Zollitsch playing the zither and throat-singing, Morin khuur-virtuoso Burintegus and Ramesh Shotham (Indian percussion) – lyrics in Chinese and Mongolian
  • 2002 – Hodood
  • 2004 – Amilal (13 tracks) – with Djamchid and Keyvan Chemirani, Zarb percussionists from Iran and Zoltan Lantos (Violin) – a personal record of her travels and her world view[3]
  • 2012 – Portrait d'URNA: Tenggeriin Shivuu
  • 2018 – Ser (12 tracks) – with Kroke[7]

She is also featured in the film Two Horses of Genghis Khan.[8]


Andrea Murray's description in The Herald-Times of one of her performances gives an intriguing insight into the extraordinary characteristics of her singing:[9]

She sang like a child, like a banshee, like a warrior, like a lost lamb, like a horse trader .... when the last note was gone, the silent audience stood up and cheered.


  1. ^ a b "Mongolia's Urna to bring 'Life' to Taiwan". The China Post. 29 May 2006. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Mongolian Singer Urna". China Radio International. 15 January 2007. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f E.Bayannasan (2010-12-03). "Singer Urnaa to Perform in Cosmopolitan Opening Party". The UB Post – Mongolia's Independent English Newspaper. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
  4. ^ a b Mongolia Society (1 January 1995). Mongolia survey: a publication of the Mongolia Society. The Society. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
  5. ^ "Įstabaus balso mongolė Urna Chahar-Tugchi viešės Lietuvoje". Bernardinai.lt. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Records". Urna Chahar Tugchi: The voice of Mongolian grasslands. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
  7. ^ "Urna and Kroke, a Well-Designed Collaboration, by TJ Nelson, January 18, 2019". worldmusiccentral.org. 18 January 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  8. ^ a b "D.C. Environmental Film Festival". The Washington Post. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  9. ^ a b LuAnne Holladay (September 2005). Bringing the world to our neighborhood: the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival. Indiana University Press. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-253-34633-9. Retrieved 10 December 2010.

External links[edit]