Dr. Haiqiong Deng is a master player of the 21-string Chinese guzheng and a veteran practitioner of the 7-string guqin culture. She was the recipient of 2021-2022 Florida Specific Cultural Project Grant, 2018 Florida State University College of Music Research Fellow, 2017 Florida Cultural Heritage Award, 2017 The Ruby Chao Yeh Award from Association for Chinese Music Research, 2013 Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, 2012 the Master Artist of the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Award, and the winner of the Outstanding Performance Prize at the 1995 Chinese National Zheng Competition in Shanghai.
In the last two decades, Dr. Deng has been active in promoting traditional and new music in North America. She has performed and lectured in various venues, including universities, museums, folk festivals, and communities introducing traditional Chinese music and culture. She has also premiered and recorded dozens of new compositions at national and international contemporary music festivals and conferences by composers from several countries.
Dr. Deng has also expanded her musical expressions through the exploration of diverse world music traditions. Her collaboration with master Indian sitarist, Nalini Vinayak, led to the 2011 release of the album—Stringing Echoes: Classical Indian Music by Sitar and Chinese Zheng—a CD that, for the first time in history, combined Chinese zheng, Indian sitar, and tabla on classical Indian Music. Her world music-influenced compositions include Layered Fantasy: for Indonesian Gamelan and Chinese Zheng (2014); Kora: for Intercultural Band Omnimusica (2018); and Guru (2020).
Dr. Deng is the featured artist in the chapter on Chinese music in the widely used university textbook World Music: Traditions and Transformations (3rd edition, 2019 McGraw-Hill) by Michael B. Bakan, Professor and Head of Ethnomusicology and World Music at Florida State University. In addition to extensive coverage of her music, life, and career in the text itself, there are recordings of her performing guzheng in the textbook's accompanying CD released by Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
Dr. Deng received her Bachelor of Music in guzheng Performance from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music (1997), Master of Arts in Arts Administration (2004) and Ethnomusicology (2006), and Ph.D. in Musicology (2020) from the Florida State University. Dr. Deng has taught at Florida State University, University of South Florida, and Tallahassee Community College. She also directed the FSU Chinese Music Ensemble for seventeen years.
In 2020, Haiqiong founded the Mindful Plucking Music Academy to provide a live and virtual platform to cultivate mindful listening, nurture cultural understanding, and contribute to human wellbeing to people from all over the world.