Pianist Gina Alice on Her Artistry, Pre-Show Ritual, Upcoming Projects, and More

She also talks about her role as Guerlain's Global Orchidée Impériale Ambassador.
Published: June 11, 2024
Pianist Gina Alice on Her Artistry, Pre-Show Ritual, Upcoming Projects, and More
Photo: Courtesy of Allen Tan

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, music is the string of connection weaving us all together in a gorgeous web of interconnectivity. For Gina Alice Redlinger, or simply known as Gina Alice, music was what brought her parents together, and shaped her destiny as an accomplished pianist, and one of East Asia's most influential celebrities in the classical music scene. The German-Korean star was drawn to the piano before she could even walk and started playing at the age of four.

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It was not long before she began performing in great cities like Spain and France and by the time she was eight, she gave the world of music a teaser of her genius on the keys at a Steinway concert playing in a D major Haydn's “Piano Concerto”.

Redlinger was guided by musical greats such as professor Irina Edelstein, Lev Natochenny, Bernhard Wetz, and later professor Laszlo Simon and Klaus Hellwig at the esteemed Berlin University of the Arts. Her musical prowess excelled with performances at the "Burgos International Music Festival", Moulin D'ande International Academy, and in 2012, Redlinger would make a grand debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. She’d be invited to perform again in 2013 and 2014.

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Her performances have been televised on German national television with an appearance on Klassik-kids with the Berlin National Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2007 and German radio station hr2-kultur broadcasting her sold-out piano recital at the esteemed Hessischer Rundfunk Sendesaal music hall in Frankfurt.

Redlinger has also become a household name in China through guest appearances on Chinese entertainment shows and her own highly successful reality show Gina's Motel. She would also continue to make music not only as a pianist, but also as a singer under Steinway. Her debut album, Wonderworld, features a mix of iconic classics such as “Claire de lune” and contemporary pieces such as her very own composition “Encore”. 

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With her charisma, poise, and artistry, she brings over seven million followers across both Weibo and Douyin, is a global ambassador for luxury brands such as Dior and Guerlain, and continues to create music that she performs all over the world as a solo star and alongside her husband, renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang.

She was in town recently to officiate the launch of Guerlain's new Orchidée Impériale Gold Nobile line as well as the Orchidée Impériale Gold Nobile Pop-up at Changi Terminal 1. ELLE Singapore sat down with the classical superstar to talk about her musical journey, pre-show rituals, skincare philosophy, and upcoming projects.

How did you discover your passion for piano?

Music was always a big part of my family. It’s a big focus and everyone in my family loves music. I think I need to thank the piano for my whole existence because my parents met through piano, too. That's why it was always natural for me to love and be around music. My parents noticed I was reaching for the piano every day, touching the keys and wanting to play. They thought "let's give it a shot, find a professional teacher, and start this music journey".

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How has it been being Guerlain's Global Orchidée Impériale ambassador?

I’ve been collaborating with Guerlain for the past few years and it’s a dream come true because I think everyone dreams about it. Even before I started working with the brand, I always loved its rich history, heritage, and every product is a piece of art. After using their products, I noticed the amazing effect they had on my skin, which I'm very happy about because I'm constantly travelling. 

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In your opinion, what are the intersections between music, art, and beauty?

Music, art and beauty are all very personal and powerful. They can connect you to yourself and to others instantly and directly. Even if someone is new to me; once we listen to or play music together, and talk about arts and skincare—right away our hearts are open. It's such a beautiful way to have that bridge between different cultures and generations and a magical way of communication.

Do you have any beauty rituals before stepping onto the stage?

I often do my stage make-up myself, which is a good distraction for me. I enjoy that process of making myself feel more comfortable and confident—to get that fire on stage. Starting with skincare, I always do it step-by-step like using the Abeille Royale range. There is an excellent face oil that I always use to prepare everything, which is followed by a serum and cream. Sometimes I also do a sheet mask before putting on make-up. I feel that Guerlain's products understand women and makes us feel so pampered.

What do you think are the greatest misconceptions about skincare, and what skincare tips do you swear by?

The biggest misconception is the more, the better. I think every skin type is different and it’s important to find your own way because every combination of products is different. On one hand, I'm always happy to get inspiration from different women, but no matter skincare or make-up, it should be something that makes you feel more beautiful, confident. Skincare should support your natural beauty because everyone has their own that is unique to them.

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How do you prioritise self-care and wellness?

How does your environment influence your creative process?

I'm so grateful that art and music are such a big part of my life; that my passion is my profession. What's important to me is to just open your eyes and heart, never stop learning, and be open. When you have this kind of situation, I think you will always find new inspiration in the details in life, because sometimes it's easy to just look at your phone and think you've seen everything. People travel to the most beautiful places and eat the best food—everything looks so polished and perfect. But it shouldn't take away your curiosity to see things. Staying curious is a big way of getting more inspiration.

 How has your skincare routine changed in Singapore’s humid climate?

I love the weather here because there's always a lot of temperature differences with travelling. Here, it's my dream weather because it's pretty humid on your skin and you don't need to use so much facial mist anymore—it’s like natural facial mist! Sometimes I use more nourishing creams, but here, you can go a bit lighter. I also think sunscreen is really important.

What advice would you give to young pianists embarking on their own musical journeys?

No matter your circumstance, and people or teachers telling you you're not playing right, no one can ever take away your love for music. If you really want to become a professional musician, you will face many bumps along the way, but don't give up. Once you come out of that, it will shape you and you will be stronger.

What are some of your upcoming projects that you're excited about?

Lang Lang and I released a new album (Saint-Saëns), a French album on piano with an orchestra. When it comes to solo music projects, I've been passionate about songwriting since I was 13. I'd write songs in between practices to just relax and open my creativity. Recently, I got signed by a pop record label, and I've been in Los Angeles in the recording studio. It was an amazing process because it's so different from playing classical music. I think people will be surprised to know that I'm signed alongside artists that I listen and look up to. I'm so happy I can finally share this new journey this year!

*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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