His mother was a Shanxi Opera singer. He learned the cello from age 8 and began composing when he was 13. From 1991 he worked in music production in Beijing, and he produced his own debut album Ya Tung in 1998.
He has worked with many notable artists of Chinese rock. Among his best known works as a producer are the albums Random Thoughts (1994), Fuzao (1996), Fable (2000) and To Love (2003) for Faye Wong, and worked with her then husband Dou Wei on his second solo album Sunny Days (1995). His other credits include albums and singles for Xu Wei, Underground Baby, Catcher in the Rye, Thin Man, Pu Shu, Ai Jing, Han Hong, duo Yu Quan, Zhao Wei, Chen Lin, Hannah Kim (金海心) and Wang Feng.
In 2004 he and Song Ke took control of Taihe Rye Music, which was then a subsidiary of Warner Music Group, to make it an independent record label in China. In 2006, Zhang formed another company, "Dong Yue" (Dong's music).
- Edward L. Davis, Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture, 2012. "1965, Shanxi Record producer. With well over a hundred productions to his credit, Zhang Yadong is China's most prolific record producer. Yadong grew up in a family of musicians and began his musical training early, mastering instruments ..."
- David O'Dell, Inseparable, the Memoirs of an American and the Story of Chinese Punk Rock, Lulu, 2011. ISBN 978-1257880034. Page 133 "LEFT: Zhang Yadong, hailed as the top producer of pop in China, an amazingly nice and personable guy – 2009. Photo: Dong Music “This is Zhang Yadong. He is a very amazing person in music here, I think both of you are very similar in your ..."
- ""Golden producer" on music's many moods". People's Daily Online. 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
- CCTV (2008-12-31). "Zhang Yadong's musical Journey". china.org.cn. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
- Tony Mitchell, Tian Ci -– Faye Wong and English Songs. Local Noise, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. "Random Thoughts was co-produced by Wong, Wei and Beijing rock artist Zhang Yatung, and was Faye’s first completely ‘alternative’ album, which also brought her new audiences on the mainland."
- Dou Wei, rockinchina.com. "Another well-respected musician and producer Zhang Ya Dong (Zhang Ya Tung, who happens to be his brother-in-law, but no nepotism here), helped with guitars and keyboards as well as the Midi."
- About Us, Taihe Rye Music (Chinese). Retrieved 2013-09-20.