Gao Hong  

Chinese Pipa Soloist and Composer

1972 - Present - solo performer on Chinese pipa (pear-shaped lute),

zhongruan(middle-range lute) and liuqin (soprano lute).



Performance Highlights


Soloist and composer for a world premiere of Gao Hong's first, mixed-media comedic performance piece, “Gao Hong on the Highway” at the Cedar in Minneapolis, Zeitgeist Studio in St Paul and others. She became the first pipa player ever to perform in Argentina when she appeared as a soloist with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic in the Teatro Colon performing Tan Dun's pipa concerto. As a soloist made a world premiere recording Lei Liang's Pipa concerto "Five Seasons" with the Boston Modern Orchestra. Released her long-awaited CD “Pipa Potluck: Lutes Around the World” where she is joined by an all-star cast of musicians that includes two Grammy winners. As featured guest artist lectured/performed at Susquehanna University in PA. Artist residency in four public schools in MN support by Arts Learning grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and MRAC.


Soloist and composer for a world premiere of Gao Hong's “Green Willow Tree for Pipa and Violin Double Concerto for Orchestra” with Minneapolis Pops Orchestra and Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra; Featured guest soloist at ChamberFest Cleveland, OH; Yellow Barn Festival, VT; Ashkenaz Festival Toronto, Canada; Square Lake Festiva, MN. Featured artist with Speaking In Tongues and Minneapolis Guitar Quartet toured eight cities in Minnesota support by Arts Tour Minnesota grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board.


Featured guest soloist and lecturer at the Hamline University; Unisersity of Minnesota Duluth;Coleege of Saint Benedict & Saint John's University; Winona State University; Macalester College; Featured guest artist and composer with Minneapolis Guitar Quartet performed at Shattuck-St. Mary's School; Lanesboro Arts Center, Lanesboro, MN; Featured Performer and composer on two new CD releases: Thrum (Innova 858) and East Meets West: Clarinet Music By Chinese Composers ( Albany Records USA).


Headlined a star-studded concert featuring Gao Hong with 4-time Grammy winner George Kahumoku, Grammy-winning banjo player Alison Brown - accompanied by fiddler Darol Anger and bassist Garry West, Lebanese-born oud master Bassam Saba, Arabic percussionist extraordinaire April Centrone, and classical guitar legend Jeffrey Van; Featured guest artist and composer with Minneapolis Guitar Quartet performed the world premiere of Gao Hong's composition "Guangxi Impression for Pipa and Guitar Quartet"; Featured guest artist at Middlebury College, Concordia College. Became the first musician in any genre to win four McKnight Artist Fellowships for Performing Musicians administered by MacPhail Center for Music.


Guest artist with Del Sol String Quartet at the Freer Gallery of the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. Soloist with THE ACADIANA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA on Gao Hong's Flying Dragon Concerto at the Heymann Performing Arts Center, Lafayette, LA. Soloist with St Olaf Orchestra on Gao Hong's Flying Dragon Concerto at Skoglund Center Auditorium, Northeild, MN. Featured artist at the Asia Society Texas Center Tiger Ball 2011, Houston, TX. Featured artist at Arts School of East China Normal University in Shanghai, China. Featured artist at the Great Lakes Folk Festival, East Lansing , MI. A world premiere of Gao Hong's "Golden Season" - for S.A.T.B. Chorus and Chinese Pipa at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium in St. Paul with Macalester College Choir. Guest Artist with LEVEN String Quartet on Paul Dice's new music at Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing.


Soloist with Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony on Tan Dun's Concerto for String Orchestra and Pipa at Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Iowa. Featured artist at Musical Instrument Museum Phoenix, AZ. Solo concert at University of Wisconsin-River Falls “Culture, Counter-Culture, and Modernity” Conference. Solo concert at WSU's International Music Series Winona State University, MN. Artist in Residency at Sibley Elementary School, Northfield, MN through Minnesota State Arts Board Art Learning Grant and DAKOTA COUNTY LIBRARY AT EAGAN, MN. Performed with "Speaking In Tongues", Guqin (Chinese Zither) master Zhao Jiazhen and famous percussion group "Ba Da Chui" from China at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium in St. Paul.


Soloist with Louisville Orchestra on Tan Dun's Concerto for String Orchestra and Pipa at Kentucky Center. Featured Guest Artist and composer with Zeitgeist. Featured artist and composer with Speaking in Tongues at the Music Festival of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China and at the Global Roots Festival 2009 at Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. Solo Concert and Lecture at Colby College, University of Wisconsin - River Falls, Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Performed with Intersection at MacPhail Center for Music’s International Music Series. Guest artist with Taiko Artist Kenny Endo at Intermedia Arts Center. Performed live on Twin Cities Television (TPT, channel 2)'s "Almanac". "Golden Season" - for pipa and guitar mew composition was premiered at The Royal Danish Academy of Music in Denmark with subsequent performances at Cadogan Hall, London, England, The Nafplion Festival, Greece, The Madeira Festival, Portugal. Commissioned by Danish guitarist Lars Hannibal. “Chun, Xia, Qiu, Dong” (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) -for pipa with Zeitgeist (clarinet, piano and two percussion) was premiered in in Z Studio in St Paul. Commissioned by Jerome Foundation. Awarded grants from Global Connections grant from the Meet The Composer Inc. in New York. and USArtists International grant form the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.


Soloist with Rochester Symphony Orchestra on Tan Dun's Pipa Concerto and Gao Hong's composition Flying Dragon Concerto. A world premiere of Gao Hong's first choral composition, “The Coming of Spring,” by Vocalessenc, (Philip Brunelle, conductor) at The Fitzgerald Theater, St Paul. “Celebration – Music of Gao Hong” concerts featured Gao Hong’s compositions exclusively and performed with taiko drummer Kenny Endo, sitarist Shubhendra Rao, tabla player Biplab Bhattacharrya, veena player and vocalist Nirmala Rajasekar, cellist Michelle Kinney, pianist Nicola Melville, and percussionist Dave Hagedorn at Carnegie Hall, New York City, Ted Mann Hall, Minneapolis, and Carleton College, Northfield. Featuring artist at Music in the Park Series - Family Concert, Minnesota History Center, St. Louis Classical Guitar Society Concert at The Ethical Society, St. Louis, MO., University of Winona International Music Series. Lecturer at Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and honored the title of “Guest Professor”. Featured on the NPR radio show “Performance Today” (the most- listened-to classical music radio show in America, hosted by Fred Child), MPR "The Joy of Pipa" hosted by Karl Gehrke and The CBS Radio KMOX 1120 with Charlie Brennan Show in St Louis. One of the featured artists for a documentary featuring various types of music that would have been heard in Deadwood from the gold rush in South Dakota. Won her third McKnight Fellowship for Performing Artists and became the only performer to win it a total of three times. Had 5 pieces premiered that were commissioned by Jerome Foundation, Zeitgeist and IFTPA.


Featured soloist at Middlebury College; Featured soloist a nd composer with Speaking in Tongues premiered her new music "Awakening" at Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam Netherlands; Featured soloist and composer premiered “Courage” in Milwaukee at the 25th anniversary season finale concert of Present Music; Solo concert at St Oalf College; Performed at UNESCO in Paris. Her first choral composition, “The Coming of Spring,” was one of five pieces selected for a reading session by Vocalessence out of 128 applicants nationwide.


Soloist with Oshkosh Symphony on Tan Dun's pipa concerto and Gao Hong's "Flying Dragon". Featured Artist at Kean University, NJ and Berea College, KY. Performance with "Speaking In Tongues" at Carleton College and Unity Church-Unitarian in St Paul. Performance with Bakken Trio "Quiet Forest, Flowing Stream" for pipa and piano trio, composed by Gao Hong at Bridge Chamber Music Festival in Northfield, MN. Solo concert at Winona State University Winona, and Minneapolis Institute of Arts.


World premiere of “Flying Dragon Concerto,” music by Gao Hong with the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra in Minneapolis. Featured composer and performer at the Amsterdam China Festival in Amsterdam, Holland. World premiere of "Quiet Forest, Flowing Stream" for pipa and piano trio, composed by Gao Hong, performed by Gao Hong with Bakken Trio, at Southern Theater in Minneapolis. World premiere of pipa piece with choir "Si Ji" composed by Zhou Long with World Voices in Edina and Shoreview, MN. Featured artist and composer with Present Music in Milwaukee. Solo Concert at Michigan State University Wharton Center. Solo concert at Adams Museum in Deadwood, SD. Collaborative performance with Douglas Ewart/Steve Goldstein/Mankwe Ndosi in The Festival Dancing in Your Head at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Solo concert at MacPhail Center for Music for their first annual International Folk Music Workshop Series. Collaborative performance with Indian dancer Ranee Ramaswamy and Indian singer Nirmala Rajasekar at Music in the Park Series in St. Paul. Solo concert at Winona State University Winona, MN.


Soloist with Pasadena Symphony on Oscar- and Grammy-winning composer Tan Dun's “Pipa Concerto”. Featured in articles in the Los Angeles Times, China Daily, and China Press. Featured in a live broadcast by Los Angeles NPR affiliate KCSN. Featured artist in a documentary for Voice of America’s Distinguished Chinese Musicians in America radio program which was produced in Washington D.C. and broadcast worldwide. Solo performances at Great Lakes Folk Festival, East Lansing, Michigan. Solo performance for Building Bridges Diversity Festival, Red Wing, Minnesota. Performed solo and with Minnesota Chorale on Bridges Series concerts, Minnetonka and Minneapolis. Collaborative performance with Japanese taiko artist Kenny Endo and percussionist Dave Hagedorn at Carleton College. Guest Artist in the Centennial Concert Series: GLOBALIZATION at St Olaf College in Northfield, MN. Featured artist in the Minneapolis Mosaic's Many Worlds, One Night program at the Historic State Theater, Minneapolis.


Collaborative performance with sitarist Shubhendra Rao and tabla player Akram Khan. Release of CDs Flying Dragon: Gao Hong and friends Around the World (Innova), and Beijing Trio's Buddhist Temple Music from Beijing. Performances with The Spirit of Nature at Dickinson College in Carlisle, University of Dayton in Ohio. Performance with early music ensemble Belladonna at Renaissance & Baroque Society of Pittsburgh Concert Series and The Schubert Club Early Music Concerts Series in St Paul MN. Performances with the Beijing Trio in Minneapolis and Carleton College in Northfield, MN. Performances with the multicultural group Speaking in Tongues with Ragamala production at Ted Mann Concert Hall in University of Minnesota. Featured in article in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


Soloist with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra on Tan Dun's pipa concerto in four performances at Ordway Center in St. Paul with Tan Dun conducting. Sold-out performance at Walker Art Center entitled "Gao Hong and Friends Around the World" in which Gao Hong was joined by jazz legend James Newton, shakuhachi master Yoshio Kurahashi, sitarist Shubhendra Rao, tabla player Ty Burhoe, jazz bassist Anthony Cox, the multicultural group Speaking in Tongues, and Minnesota blues icons Donald and Faye Washington. Featured artist in the “Rainbow Concert” at Florida State University, School of Music; Performances with The Spirit of Nature in St. Paul, Winona, and Northfield, Minnesota, and at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Performance at Walker Art Center with Zeitgeist and Jin Hi Kim. Recorded CDs with early music ensemble Belladonna and with cast of "Gao Hong and Friends Around the World" concert.


Performer/composer in Ragamala production of "Transposed Heads" at Southern Theater, Minneapolis. Live broadcasted solo performance on Minnesota Public Radio. Composed soundtrack and performed on six-episode series "Made in China" which aired on PBS stations nationwide. Solo performances at Minnesota Children's Museum, St. Paul; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Winona State University Residential College. Performance with early music ensemble Belladonna at Musical Instrument Museum, Vermilion, South Dakota. Solo performance at Yale University for Washington's Governor Gary Locke. Performance with Anthony Cox at The Festival Dancing in Your Head at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.


Performed at Festival of Perth Australia, with “The Peony Pavilion”. Soloist with Intersection Chamber Orchestra on Tan Dun's "Ghost Opera" pipa concerto (pipa with string orchestra). Performed with Fred Ho and the Monkey Orchestra at Mountain View Jazz Festival, Vermont. New Music Concert with Melody of China, San Francisco. Soloist and composer on world premiere theater production of "Song of the Pipa" with Theatre Mu. Collaborative performance at Music in the Parks Series with Belladonna. Residency in 30 public schools for Dubuque Arts Council, Dubuque, IA. Soloist on world premeire pipa concerto by Janika Vandervelde with Women's Philharmonic, San Francisco. Solo performance for Minnesota International Citizens Award Banquet and Grantmakers in the Arts Annual Conference, Minneapolis MN. Performance with The Spirit of Nature at Kentucky Center for the Arts, Louisville, KY. Residency for Arts Are Basic, Lincoln, NE in 18 public schools and performance at Lentz Center for Asian Arts and Culture, Lincoln, NE. Performance of Tan Dun's “Pipa Concerto” with University of Iowa Symphony. Performance at Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, MN with Speaking in Tongues and others.


Performances with Lincoln Center production of “The Peony Pavilion” in Lincoln Center Festival, Festival d'Automne a Paris, Festival de Teatro d'Europa Milan; world premiere performance with Portland (Maine) Symphony of Nancy Van de Vate's “A Peacock Southeast Flew”; performance with Duluth-Superior Symphony; performance at University of Hong Kong; recorded CDs with Speaking in Tongues, The Spirit of Nature, and with flamenco guitarist Wayne Wesley Johnson.


Soloist on premiere recording of pipa concerto “A Peacock Southeast Flew” by Nancy Van de Vate with Moravian Philharmonic in Czech Republic (Vienna Modern Masters label); performed West Coast premiere of Lou Harrison's “Concerto for Pipa with String Orchestra” with the Seattle Creative Orchestra; performed world premiere with Minnesota Chorale; residency at Peabody Conservatory with Music From China (NYC); performed world premiere with Heidelberg Philharmonic and solo concert at CHIME (European Foundation for Chinese Music Research) International Conference, Heidelberg, Germany; performed at San Francisco Jazz Festival with Fred Ho and The Monkey Orchestra. performed at Smithsonian Institution solo and with Music from China.


Performed U.S. Midwestern premiere of Zhou Long’s pipa concerto “Peking Drum” with Keith Clark conducting the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra; also a guest soloist with Kenwood Chamber Orchestra at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Northeast Orchestra (MN); and Bloomington Symphony (MN); Bay Youth Orchestra, Virginia Beach, VA; also performed with Fred Ho and The Monkey Orchestra at Next Wave Festival in Brooklyn, NY; with the Lincoln Symphony (NE) on Tan Dun's “Circle”; with Inoue Ensemble and Blended Cultures Orchestra; and solo concert at the Hebei International Music Festival and others.

1996 - 97

Featured in television documentaries filmed by both Henan and Hebei Provincial Television Networks in China, Luoyang Television in China, and by Asian Media Access in Minneapolis for their East Meets West television series.


Joint tour with Lin Shicheng with performances in Beijing; Honolulu; Seattle; St. Paul, and Winona, Minnesota; Recorded CD Hunting Eagles Catching Swans with Lin Shicheng. Founded a professional Chinese music ensemble the Spirit of Nature.


Solo performances at 50th Anniversary Commemoration of Sino-Japanese War, O’Shaugnessy Auditorium, St. Paul, and at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. Solo performance at St Cloud State University, MN.


U.S.Tour (solo) with performance in New York City; Pittsburgh; Cleveland; Denver; Minneapolis; St. Paul; Scranton, Pennsylvania; and Albany, Brentwood& Geneva, New York. Numerous performance in United States at universities, festivals, and in concert halls; including solo recitals, performances with ensembles comprised of both Chinese and Western instrumentation; performances with jazz musicians Fred Ho, Anthony Cox, Dean Granros and Dave King; and performances with the multi-ethnic Blended Cultures Ensemble.One of two on-stage musicians in Tokyo run of famous Japanese playwright Hideki Noda's “Kiru”.


Solo performances in several Japanese cities, including Tokyo, Hiroshima, Yokohama,Hitachi, Osaka and others.


Soloist with Chinese Performing Arts Delegation which toured Japan.


Soloist with Beijing Song & Dance Troupe.


Solo and ensemble performances and recordings with various Central Conservatory ensembles including those broadcast on radio and television.


Solo and ensemble performances with Hebei Provincial School for the Arts touring troupes including those broadcast on radio and television.


Pipa performer with Handan Song & Dance Troupe.

Featured in articles worldwide:
Los Angeles Times, Star Tribune, Chronicle of Higher Education, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Minnesota Monthly, City Pages, Asian Pages, Asian American Press, Guitarist, Skyway News, Telegraph Herald, China Daily, Henan Daily News, Luoyang Daily News, Luoyang Nightly News, The Villager (NYC), World Journal, Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, Chinese Pipa Society Newsletter, Beijing Daily, China Youth Daily, Guangmin News, China Press, Celebrity Magazine, Yanzhao Nightly News, Oversea Chinese Newspaper, China Daily and others.

Reviews on her music:
Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Classical Voice, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Shepherd-Express, La Opinion, City Pages, Siren, Pulse, The Courier-Journal, Asian Pages, Scranton Times, String Notes American Chinese Times, Journal of the European Foundation for Chinese Music Research, ACMR Reports (Journal of the Association For Chinese Music Research), Sing Out!; China's People's Music, China Music News, Opus Pocus, the Magic of Music and others.

Guest lecturer and teacher of traditional Chinese music:
Cornish Institute (Seattle); Middlebury College; Yale University; Peabody Conservatory; CHIME (European Foundation for Chinese Music Research) International Conference (Germany); Xian Conservatory (China); Meet the Composer Conference (San Francisco); Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA); the universities of Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and St. Thomas; Carleton College; Macalester College; Augsburg College; Winona State University; Roster artist with the Minnesota State Arts Board, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's CONNECT Program, Young Audiences, COMPAS and others.

China Central Radio Station, China Central International Radio Station, Hong Kong radio and television, Japan's NHK, Voice of America radio station, Los Angeles’s KCSN (NPR), Luoyang Television, Henan & Hebei Provincial Television Network, Hebei Provincial Radio Station, Minnesota Public Radio's All Things Considered and The Morning Show, Minnesota Public Radio's Fargo-Moorhead affiliate, ABC's "On the Road" with Jason Davis, Twin Cities Public Television's News Night, KMSP-TV's Channel 9 News, KFAI-FM's Century Song, Seattle's KUOW(NPR) and KBCS and other radio and television stations in the U.S., China, Argentina, Czech Republic and others.