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Ma, Xiao

"Absolutely incredible voice. Anyone who hears it won't have heard anything like it."


Xiao Ma (肖瑪) is China’s first professional countertenor. He was discovered by renowned Chinese bass Gong Dong-Jian in 2006, and made his debut the following year with Shanghai Opera as Cherubino in Mozart’s the Marriage of Figaro, which has become his signature role. Xiao Ma’s bel canto repertoire includes Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Vivaldi and Handel arias. He garners universal praise for his bright, solid, yet flexible coloratura, seamless integration of chest voice and head voice, and rich music expressiveness.

Since his Shanghai debut Xiao Ma has given numerous recitals and appearances in China as well as the US, Europe and other countries in Asia. Last year he toured 9 European cities under the auspices of the Chinese Ministry of Culture as soloist with the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra, and in 2012 made his New Zealand debut with a tour of 4 cities and 9 concerts. In 2012 he returns to New Zealand to debut with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Starting piano study at the age of four, he majored in piano and voice at the Sichuan Occupation Art College, then studied voice at Xihua University and took master classes with Gong Dong-Jian and with Gerhard Kahry. While still studying he worked as a piano coach at Sichuan Occupation Art College, and upon graduation was offered a position as Assistant Professor in both piano and voice. In 2000 he was appointed Assistant Professor of Voice at Chengdu Normal University, and continued to accompany singers and dancers, winning numerous awards. At Chengdu Normal he edited a volume entitled “Accompaniment Music for Dancing “, which won the 2004 Teaching Material Award in Sichuan Normal University and was adopted as the official teaching material for dance majors in several college and universities in Sichuan. Since 2011 he is Distinguished Professor, Guizhou Normal University, International College of Music.