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Acclaimed German pianist gets ROC citizenship

2018/08/13 17:24:44

Photo courtesy of Taipei's Da'an Household Registration Office

Taipei, Aug. 13 (CNA) Well-known German pianist Rolf-Peter Wille (魏樂富) received his Republic of China (Taiwan) ID card Monday, officially making him an ROC citizen.

"I'm not feeling like a stranger here. Thank you all for treating me as a son of Taiwan," Wille said at an award ceremony organized by Taipei's Da'an Household Registration Office. Lina Yeh (葉綠娜), Wille's wife, also a famous pianist, was also present.

Wille is the sixth foreign national to be granted ROC citizenship in Taipei because of his remarkable professional performance. He is also the first foreign musician to receive an ROC ID card.

According to Wille, he has viewed Taiwan as his homeland since coming here aged 24. "I like to climb mountains in suburban Taiwan and ride my bicycle along the riverside," he said.

"Over the past 40 years, I've been a son-in-law in Taiwan and I feel I'm more a Taiwanese now," he said, noting that his entire professional career and musical life is profoundly entwined with Taiwan.

Wille and Yeh are the best-known piano duo in Taiwan.

In 2010, the couple was invited by the Vatican to play in front of Pope Benedict XVI, for which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conferred upon him the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy in appreciation of his contribution to Taiwan.

Wille currently teaches at Taipei National University of the Arts.

(By Flor Wang and Chen Yen-chun)
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