Photo by Thomas Zydatis

Dong Zhou (no pronouns/she) was born in 1992 in Shanghai. Although from Zhou’s great grandfather all generations of her family play traditional Chinese Sizhu Music, she learnt piano from 3 and violin from 9 and played in the orchestra from 12. Zhou gained her B. A. in electroacoustic music composition in Shanghai Conservatory and M.A. in multimedia composition in Hamburg University of Music and Drama and names Qiangbin Chen, Yi Qin, Georg Hajdu, and Elmar Lampson as her most significant former mentors.

Zhou’s works were presented in Shanghai International Art Festival (2013/2015), the ‘Sound of World’ Microsoft ringtones collection (2014), SMC (2016/ 2018), Blurred Edges (2016 – 2020), WOCMAT (2016/ 2017/ 2020) , EUROMicroFest (2017), NYCEMF (2017), KlingtGut (2017/ 2021), ICMC(2017/ 2018),  Evimus (2018), DEGEM Konzert (2018), Split Art Convention (2018), ZKM Next Generation (2017/ 2019), New Music Miami ISCM Festival (2019), Echofluxx New Media Festival (2019), Serials Festival Évora (2020), ATM Festival 2020 Seoul (2020), TENOR (2021), Jacksonville Electroacoustic Music Festival (2021), FESTIVAL ECOS URBANOS (2021), EPICENTROOM Festival (2021) and Turn Up Festival (2021). Zhou was commissioned by Shanghai International Art Festival in 2015, CLAB Festival Hamburg in 2018, ZKM Karlsruhe in 2019 and STAMP Festival Hamburg in 2021. In ICMC 2018 Hacker-N-Makerthon, her project with Deborah Kim got the first prize. She was also one of the four finalists of the Composition Prize of 2019 Deutscher Musikwettbewerb.

Zhou worked for several theatres as sound design and composition: Peony Pavilion Yin Yang (2013, Shanghai Theatre Academy), Miss Shanghai (2015, Shanghai Centre of Stage Play), A Fairy Tale (2016, Staatsoper Hamburg), Sweet Dreams (2019, St. Pauli Theater), 100 Songs (assistant sound design, Stadttheater Gießen), Strandrecht (2019, Lichthof Theater), Filetstücke (2020, Monsun Theater), Imagines (2021, Lichthof Theater), and Echo of a Fire Long Gone (2021, Marias Ballroom).

Zhou’s installations were exhibited in Hangzhou City Library (2016), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (2018), Museum of Perception Graz (2019), Altonaer Museum (2021, Hamburg), and Museum of Waste (2021, Changsha, China).

Zhou is one of the founders of the collective “Gong Projekt”. Since 2017 through many attempts and practices, they found their unique way to transform the ethnic culture into contemporary music and performance which they comment and criticize the modern society with. Besides this project, Zhou was also active contributors of musical therapy project “Sonic Environments for Healing” (2016-2018), musical education project “Klangradar 3000/ Reise 21” (2018), intercultural exchange project “AMALGAM” (2017-2019) and online musician uniting project “#pajamaopera” (2020). Back to Zhou’s college time, she was an editor of a popular LGBTQ+ podcast in China. LGBTQ+ right and the living situation of queer is still one of the important themes of her works. For Zhou’s engagement in artistic works changing the society, she was awarded the Artistic Intervention scholarship by University Hildesheim in 2021.

Apart from composition, Zhou has also strong interest in literature, sociology, and performance art. Zhou won the second prize in “New Concept” Chinese Youth Literature Contest in 2013 and worked as a trainee editor in Shanghai Writer’s Association. In middle school, Zhou took drama lessons for three years and worked as the leader of the drama club. As a performer, Zhou performed with different groups and bands in Shanghai, Daegu, and different cities in Europe. In 2020 Zhou produced two solo performances: “Dreams of the Socialist Girl” (Lichthof Theater) and “#pajamaopera Solo Remix” (online). Currently, Zhou is doing a doctoral study in Aesthetics and Culture of Digital Media at Leuphana University under professor Dr. Rolf Großmann’s supervision.

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