Tan Dun - UNESCO Goodwill ambassador

Tan Dun - UNESCO Goodwill ambassador
Tan Dun
© Nana Watanabe
UNESCO Press Release No.2013-19

Distinguished Chinese composer Tan Dun to be named UNESCO Goodwill ambassador

Paris, 19 March—UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova will designate celebrated Chinese composer and conductor Tan Dun as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador on Friday, 22 March. The event, at UNESCO Headquarters, will begin with a live performance by the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra of Tan Dun's Music for Water, conducted by the composer (8 p.m.). The concert, organized in cooperation with Melody for Dialogue among Civilizations Association, will be followed by the designation ceremony.

A press conference with the new Goodwill Ambassador will be held ahead of his nomination, on 21 March (3 p.m., UNESCO Headquarters, Room VIII).

The Director-General is designating Tan Dun as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador "in recognition of his efforts to promote intercultural dialogue through music, consciousness of the scarcity of natural resources such as water, and the diversity of languages, as well as for his dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization."

The conceptual and multifaceted composer and conductor Tan Dun is known for his creative repertoire that spans the boundaries of classical music, multimedia performance, and Eastern and Western traditions. He is a winner of today's most prestigious musical honours including the Grammy Award, Oscar/Academy Award, Grawemeyer Award for classical composition and Musical America's Composer of The Year. Tan Dun's music has been played throughout the world by leading orchestras, opera houses, international festivals, and on radio and television. He has conducted such renowned orchestras, as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Berliner Philharmoniker, Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Filharmonica della Scala, Münchner Philharmoniker and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, among others.

As a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Tan Dun will join the ranks of outstanding celebrity advocates who spread the ideals of UNESCO through their name and fame. They extend and amplify UNESCO's work and mission and generously use their talent and status to help focus the world's attention on UNESCO's work.


Journalists who wish to attend the press conference, the nomination ceremony and the concert require accreditation.

Contact: Djibril Kebe, UNESCO Press Service,

Tel: +33 (0)1 45 68 18 17 41; d.kebe@unesco.org d.kebe@unesco.org