Tan Dun | Premieres in NY & LA and CD Release

Tan Dun | Premieres in NY & LA and CD Release
© CD: BIS 2406
Tan Dun’s music is as wide-ranging as it is all-embracing, and resonates with a global audience.

This week, two ambitious new works from composer Tan Dun will be presented in their North American premiere performances. The New York Philharmonic will perform Fire Ritual — a music ritual for the Victims of War on February 6, 2019 with violinist Bomsori Kim, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic will present the North American premiere performances of the Buddha Passion on February 8 and 9, 2019.

New CD Release and North American premiere of 'Fire Ritual'

We are excited to share with you the release of Tan Dun's latest CD of violin concertos with the Oslo Philharmonic featuring violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing, including his newest composition, Fire Ritual — a music ritual for the Victims of War. Inspired by his visits to the Dunhuang prehistoric cave paintings during his period of researching his new oratorio, Buddha Passion, Tan Dun says, 'The piece is centered on the note "re" of the solfege scale — calling for the REturn of souls and the REbirth of all victims of war so that they may RElive another life, and love once more.'

February 6 2019 North American premiere
New York Philharmonic, Kahchun Wong, conductor
Bomsori Kim, violin

Tan Dun and Hemsing preview the creation and recording process

'Buddha Passion' — North American premiere with Los Angeles Philharmonic

Commissioned jointly by the Dresdner Musikfestspiele, the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Tan Dun’s newest monumental work continues to share its message of peace and cultural exchange through premiere performances in Australia, Asia, and North America, with its premiere solo cast.

Sung in Chinese and Sanskrit, Buddha Passion is scored for seven soloists, choir, and orchestra. The Los Angeles Philharmonic gives the North American premiere at Walt Disney Hall on February 8 and 9, 2019. Performances will feature the world premiere soloists and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Los Angeles Philharmonic Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel will conduct.

February 8, 9 2019 North American premiere
Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Sen Guo | Soprano
Kang Wang | Tenor
Shenyang | Baritone
Huiling Zhu | Mezzo-soprano
Tan Weiwei | Female Indigenous Singer
Batubagen | Male Indigenous Singer
Wenqing Shi | Fantan Pipa Soloist and Dancer

Watch Tan Dun's Buddha Passion (Inside the Music) 

About 'Buddha Passion'

Tan Dun's Buddha Passion weaves together stories that have lived in the hearts and minds of the Eastern World for thousands of years. It is the first 'passion' story written about the lessons of Buddha. The music is inspired by the ancient city of Dunhuang and the awe-inspiring Mogao Caves, which have been under protection for the past thirty years as a UNESCO World Heritage Site: 'Located in an oasis of the Taklamakan Desert in western China, the ancient city of Dunhuang became an important outpost of the Silk Road nearly two thousand years ago. For centuries, it flourished as a center for Buddhist worship and learning. Generations of monks and pilgrims carved shrines out of the rock cliffs at Mogao, gradually building one of the greatest collections of Buddhist painting, sculpture, and architecture in the world'. (Dunhuang Foundation).

Inspired by the powerful spiritual and cultural exchange in the 4th-to-14th-century Dunhuang murals, Tan Dun spent two years locating, visiting, researching, and documenting the lost musical manuscripts from the Dunhuang Library Cave. His fascination with unearthing 'the ancient sounds of Dunhuang' culminate in this ambitious new work, weaving chants, stories, and sounds into an opera of six individual short stories. Capturing the ancient narratives of the Buddha's teachings and the timeless, universal concepts of love, forgiveness, sacrifice, and salvation, Tan Dun has summarized the stories portrayed on the walls of the Mogao Caves in an extraordinary and unique musical work.

Read the full synopsis of Buddha Passion 


'On Wednesday evening at the music festival in Dresden, the World Premiere of Buddha Passion by the Chinese composer Tan Dun encountered broad approval. After the performance of the work lasting about two hours, the audience of the Kulturpalast was thrilled. Tan Dun was celebrated at the podium as conductor with the Munich Philharmonic, the International Choir Academy Lübeck and a soloist ensemble with artists from Asia'.

Musik Heute, May 24 2018

'The most astonishing experience about this encompassing linguistic and musical landscape is the tone that the composer and conductor, Tan Dun, creates: between a great film-like orchestral storm and lyrical pianissimi, one can find the highest variety of singing styles to illustrate his Buddha tale.… After two hours, the audience jumped out of their seats applauding'.

— Helmut Mauró, Süddeutsche Zeitung, May 24 2018

View Tan Dun's Full Performance Calendar 

About Tan Dun

The world-renowned artist and UNESCO Global Goodwill Ambassador Tan Dun has made an indelible mark on the world's music scene with a creative repertoire that spans the boundaries of classical music, multimedia performance, and Eastern and Western traditions. A winner of today's most prestigious honors including the Grammy Award, Oscar/Academy Award, Grawemeyer Award, Bach Prize, Shostakovich Award, and, most recently, Italy's Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement, Tan Dun's music has been played throughout the world by leading orchestras, opera houses, international festivals, and on radio and television.

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