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Hong graduated from Nanjing Normal University's Music Department, where he mainly studied composition, and also studied the oboe at Nanjing Arts Academy. After graduating, he taught songwriting and oboe at the music department for about five years. He later changed his career to music editor at Jiangsu Province Institute of Arts, where he studied for eight years on traditional songs and folk music, before moving to the United States, where he has been living for more than twenty years.
Hong has composed several pieces for the Chinese ensemble and contemporary mixed bands, earning him a number of awards. His music has also been published by China's top music magazine Composition and Taiwan Publish Houses and he has also recorded for several recording companies, including Sony Classical, Sega, TDK, Sound World, and Water Baby Records. He is also a zhonghu soloist for the album Monk's Moods, which was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Hong has performed at many international music festivals in the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Poland, Belgium, and the United States, with several renowned musicians such as Meredith Monk, Tan Dun, and Zhao Jiping. He has also performed with jazz musicians Max Roach, David Murray, Jong Jan, and Anthony Brown's Asian American Jazz Orchestra at the San Francisco Jazz Festival and Stone Grove Festival.
As a leading contemporary musician, he has played several concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area, such as Thundering Across the Sky, A Musical Dialogue with Dancing Lions, New Music Concert with the Citywinds, and Three Sound – an experimental music series with computer music by composer Carl Stone, sheng master Wu Wei, matouqin master Li Bo, and bass clarinet/composer Gene Coleman. He toured with the Belgian music group Het Collectibet and the German group Ensemble Dragon in Belgium in 2010. His recent performances include Guo Wenjing's contemporary opera Feng Yi Ting at the Spoleto Festival 2012 in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Lincoln Center, New York.
As a "musical archaeologist", he has met with several folk master musicians in mainland China and learnt from them, such as the matouqin, a horse head cello, in Inner Mongolia.
On September 14, 2014, he was at the 2014 Playfest in Málaga, Spain, where he played the erhu, the zhonghu, and the dizi on several compositions from The Legend of Korra and Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- ↑ Interview with The Track Team: The Musicians Behind The Legend of Korra. Racebending (March 27, 2012). Retrieved on December 16, 2014.
- ↑ Maldita Castilla in Playfest 2014!!. Gryzor87 (September 20, 2014). Retrieved on December 16, 2014.