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Barbara Mittler – sinologist with a passion for music

Barbara Mittler is a Professor of Sinology at the University of Heidelberg

“Actually, I wanted to become a musician, like my mother,” says Barbara Mittler. But her father, who worked in China, encouraged her to learn Mandarin while she was still attending school. Then she got a spot at Oxford, where she took private lessons, including history under Mark Elvin and classical Chinese under Raymond Dawson. “We had to write and read an essay every week. We received criticism right away, left and right,” recalls the 54-year-old, who is now a professor of sinology herself at the University of Heidelberg.

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