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Weichih Rosa Lee

2022 Governor's Awards: Weichih “Rosa” Lee, Individual Artist Award Winner

Weichih “Rosa” Lee is a master artist, musician, and Ohio Heritage Fellow specializing in the performance of Chinese zither. Born in Taiwan, Rosa grew up in a household of Chinese musicians and began to learn the Chinese plucked zither, or guzheng, at the age of 7. While her mother, Mark RuiPin, taught her basic chord structures and the Chinese jianpu musical notations, Rosa later studied with Professor Teidon Wei to learn Chinese zither and music theory. She won the Taipei Musical Contest Youth Champion award in 1971, which encouraged her to pursue an advanced level in musical performance. In 1981, she had her first solo concert in the Taipei Musical Hall to a standing-room-only audience. It was the first time that 21-string guzheng plucking techniques were introduced to the public in Taiwan.

Rosa immigrated to the United States in 1985 and settled in the Cleveland area, where she has presented her art form and acted as a cultural ambassador. Her performances have been featured by WVIZ Public Television, the Cleveland Asian Festival, Palace Theater, and PM Magazine, as well as in museums, schools, and colleges. One of the first master artists to be awarded an Ohio Arts Council Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant, Rosa teaches both the instrumentation of the Chinese zither and the important cultural aspects of the music to her apprentices. In 2014, she was honored for her artistic excellence in performing arts with an Ohio Heritage Fellowship, a lifetime achievement award celebrating the vitality of Ohio’s folk and traditional arts. Rosa differentiates herself from others by demonstrating the artistic side of her music and connecting culture to the music while she pursues the highest level of artistic excellence.

Since its beginning in 1971, the Governor's Awards has recognized individuals and organizations who have been vital to the growth and development of Ohio's cultural resources. One of the most prestigious arts events in Ohio, the Governor's Awards showcases and celebrates exceptional Ohio artists, arts organizations, arts leaders and patrons, and business support of the arts. Governor's Awards recipients are honored at a luncheon ceremony in Columbus, where they are presented with the only arts award in the state that is conferred by the governor. Each award winner receives an original piece of artwork created specifically for the event by an Ohio artist and the opportunity to share their story with other arts supporters statewide.

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website at


Video by the Ohio Channel

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