Tan Dun Around the World

Tan Dun Around the World
© Zhang Yi
Composer/conductor Tan Dun is globetrotting once again. In the coming months, audiences on three continents will have the opportunity to experience his music live with the composer himself at the helm.

This week audiences at the La Jolla Summerfest have a rare chance to see Tan Dun conduct his epic and beloved Water Passion after St. Matthew on August 4.

Later this month the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival features the world premiere of his percussion concerto The Tears of Nature with Martin Grubinger and the NDR Symphony (August 18 & 19). At a ceremony following the premiere concert, Tan Dun will be presented with the prestigious Hamburg Bach Prize, which is awarded every four years to an exceptional composer of our time.

The Tears of Nature was commissioned by Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR), The Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Bergen Philharmonic and the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, for renowned percussionist Martin Grubinger. Of working with Grubinger to create The Tears of Nature, Tan Dun states: “Martin Grubinger is the one of few musicians that has truly struck a chord in me and made it impossible for me to stop thinking about creating something for him. I want to create something special for the hunger of his beating heart and his vibrating soul. This piece is not only written as an admiration of such a refined artist, but as a duet between us. It is about the beautiful sadness of nature’s predicament and the threat to our survival today. Throughout the music, nature’s tears tell us that the threat to our survival is ourselves.” Future performances take place in Bergen, Los Angeles and Zurich throughout the 2012-13 concert season.

The Schleswig-Holstein Festival also presents Tan Dun conducting his Martial Arts Trilogy on August 11 and the Crouching Tiger Concerto and Pipa Concerto on August 13. Tan Dun next takes the Martial Arts Trilogy to the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra on September 22. On his way down under, he stops in China for a performance of the Water Concerto with the Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra (September 15).

The Amsterdam Cello Biennale features Tan Dun as Artist-in-Residence in concerts October 26-November 2. The biennale has an Eastern theme this year and Tan’s catalogue is particularly rich with music featuring the cello — especially his spectacular works The Map, the Crouching Tiger Concerto, Elegy: Snow in June, Four Secret Roads of Marco Polo among others. His fascination with the cello stems from his love for the erhu, a smaller Chinese relative of the cello. The above mentioned works are featured during the Biennale along with a performance by Tan Wei, China’s most well know erhu player. For complete details, click here. Photo credit: Zhang Yi.