In our increasingly shrinking world, cultural
divides between the East and the West are
finding new meeting grounds in the arts which
bring our worlds closer together. This month,
two Chinese cultural arts festivals - one in
the "old" world and one in the "new" -
feature the works of musical ambassadors
Bright Sheng and Tan Dun.
The Royal Concertgebouw sponsors a musical
feast with its "Amsterdam China Festival."
The festival spotlights Tan's music with the
Kronos Quartet and pipa player Wu Man
presenting GHOST OPERA; a screening of films
he has scored; and Tan's own performance with
the Flemish Radio Orchestra of ORCHESTRAL
THEATRE II: RE and THE MAP. The Concertgebouw
Orchestra participates with the European
premiere of Bright Sheng's marimba concerto
COLORS OF CRIMSON, performed by soloist Colin
Eyes will also be on Washington, DC, where
the Kennedy Center offers up "The Festival of
China," which highlights both composers'
orchestral works in concert with the Shanghai
Symphony. Tan's voice is also represented in
the worlds of chamber music and dance.
Speaking of dance, John Tavener receives a
nod, as Shen Wei Dance Arts stages the ballet
"Folding," which is choreographed to the
composer's THE LAST SLEEP OF THE VIRGIN.
“It’s a wonderful honor to be giving the
European premiere [of Sheng’s COLORS OF
CRIMSON]...the music [has] color, subtlety,
and shimmering intensity...As for the solo
marimba writing, the composer has sought a
new level of dexterity and the contrapuntal
challenges make for a superb virtuoso
display.” — Colin Currie