Chinese performer and composer Gao Hong is a master of the pear-shaped lute, the pipa. She began her career as a professional musician at age 12, and later graduated from China's premier music school, the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Gao has received numerous top awards and honors, including first prize in the Hebei Professional Young Music Performers Competition; an International Art Cup in Beijing; the prestigious Bush Artist Fellowship; five McKnight Artist Fellowships for Performing Musicians; numerous grants and fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board; and a Sally Award. Gao has performed throughout Europe, Australia, Argentina, Japan, Hong Kong, China and the U.S. in solo concerts and with orchestras, jazz musicians and performers from many cultures. She is a guest professor at the Central Conservatory of Music, China Conservatory of Music, Tianjin Conservatory of Music and Hebei Vocational Arts College. She teaches Chinese Musical Instruments and is director of the Chinese Music Ensemble and Global Music Ensemble at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. Gao’s most recent recording of live compositions and improvisations with oudest Issam Rafea, From Our World to Yours, was released in 2020 and was awarded Gold Medals in two categories by the Global Music Awards. More: chinesepipa.com.