August 18, 1957 – Changsha, China
“The world renowned artist Tan Dun, following in the footsteps of his musical icons composer/conductor’s Mahler and Bernstein, 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 for classical composition, Musical America’s Composer of The Year, Bach Prize of the City of Hamburg and Moscow’s Shostakovich Award, Tan Dun’s music has been played throughout the world by leading orchestras, opera houses, international festivals, and on the radio and television. As a composer/conductor, Tan Dun has led the world’s most esteemed orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Berliner Philharmoniker, Orchestre National de France, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Filharmonica della Scala, Münchner Philharmoniker, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, and has recently been named Honorary Chair of the Carnegie Hall China Advisory Council. As a global cultural leader, Tan Dun uses his creativity to raise awareness of environmental issues and to protect cultural diversity. In 2010, Tan Dun served as “Cultural Ambassador to the World” for World EXPO Shanghai and most recently, UNESCO appointed Tan Dun as its global Goodwill Ambassador.
Tan Dun’s individual voice has been heard widely by international audiences. In recent seasons, a new percussion concerto, The Tears of Nature, for soloist Martin Grubinger that premiered with the NDR Symphony Orchestra and Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, a symphony for 13 microfilms, harp and orchestra inspired by the secret Nushu calligraphy of Tan Dun’s home province of Hunan and commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. His first Internet Symphony, which was commissioned by Google/YouTube, has reached over 15 million people online. His Organic Music Trilogy of Water, Paper and Ceramic Concerti has frequented major concert halls and festivals. Paper Concerto was premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the opening of the Walt Disney Hall. His multimedia work, The Map, premiered by YoYo Ma and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, has toured more than 30 countries worldwide. Its manuscript has been included in the Carnegie Hall Composers Gallery. His Orchestral Theatre: The Gate was premiered by Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra and crosses the cultural boundaries of Peking Opera, Western Opera and puppet theatre traditions. Other important recent premieres include Four Secret Roads of Marco Polo for the Berlin Philharmonic and Piano Concerto “The Fire” for Lang Lang and the New York Philharmonic. Tan Dun was commissioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to write the Logo Music and Award Ceremony Music for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Most recently, Tan Dun has been appointed as Honorary Artistic Director of China National Symphony Orchestra.
For Tan Dun opera has always been a leading creative outlet and source of inspiration. Marco Polo was commissioned by the Edinburgh Festival and has had four different productions including, most prominently, with De Nederlandse Opera directed by Pierre Audi; The First Emperor with Placido Domingo premiering the title role, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera of New York; Tea: A Mirror of Soul, premiered at Japan’s Suntory Hall in 2000, has since had new productions with Opera de Lyon, a co-production by Santa Fe Opera and The Opera Company of Philadelphia; and Peony Pavilion, directed by Peter Sellars which has had over 50 performances at major festivals in Vienna, Paris, London and Rome.
Tan Dun records for Sony Classical, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Opus Arte and Naxos. His recordings have garnered many accolades, including a Grammy Award (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and nomination (The First Emperor; Marco Polo; Pipa Concerto), Japan’s Recording Academy Awards for Best Contemporary Music CD (Water Passion after St. Matthew) and the BBC’s Best Orchestral Album (Death and Fire). Tan Dun’s music is published by G. Schirmer, Inc and represented worldwide by the Music Sales Group of Classical Companies.” – from Tan Dun’s Official Website