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21C Welcomes World-Renowned Composer-Conductor Tan Dun, Whose Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds Premieres with National Youth Orchestra of the USA This Friday and Saturday (July 10 and 11)

21C Media Group is thrilled to announce that it now represents Tan Dun for press and public relations. The winner of today’s most prestigious honors, including Grammy, Academy, Grawemeyer, Bach Prize of the City of Hamburg, and Moscow’s Shostakovich awards, the world-renowned composer-conductor has made an indelible mark on the international music scene, with a creative repertoire spanning the realms of classical music, multimedia performance, and Eastern and Western traditions. Besides collaborating regularly with leading orchestras, opera houses, and festivals worldwide, Tan Dun serves as Honorary Artistic Director of the China National Symphony; Honorary Chair of the Carnegie Hall China Advisory Council; Music Director of the China Youth Orchestra; and, as a noted and dedicated conservationist, as UNESCO’s Global Goodwill Ambassador. Tan Dun’s newest piece, Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds (2015), was commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, and receives its world premiere by the orchestra under Charles Dutoit at Purchase College’s Performing Arts Center this Friday, July 10, followed by a repeat performance this Saturday, July 11, at New York’s Carnegie Hall. This new work, which features cellphones in the orchestration, will be taken on a seven-city tour of China with the NYO-USA following the performance at Carnegie Hall. On August 13, Tan Dun takes the podium at the Hollywood Bowl to lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic in live accounts of the four concertos from the “Martial Arts Trilogy,” based on the three award-winning film scores he originally wrote for Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Lang Lang.

Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds represents a synthesis of widely differing sources of inspiration that range from natural to manmade, and from ancient to cutting-edge. As the composer describes in an illuminating program note, its genesis was “the wonder of nature.” He explains:

“In the beginning, when human beings were first inventing music, we always looked for a way to talk to nature, to communicate with the birds and wind. … I decided to start by using six ancient Chinese instruments, the guzheng, suona, erhu, pipa, dizi, and sheng, to record bird sounds that I had composed.”

In a characteristically revolutionary move, Tan Dun set out to make these recordings playable on cellphones, so as to create “a poetic forest of digital birds.” He says:

“The symphony orchestra is frequently expanding with the inclusion of new instruments; I thought the cellphone, carrying my digital bird sounds, might be a wonderful new instrument reflecting our life and spirit today.”

Drawing on Leonardo da Vinci’s groundbreaking study of the mechanics of birds’ flight, Tan Dun turned to “the way birds fly, the way the wind blows, the way waves ripple.” Fulfilling his “burning passion … to decode the countless patterns of the sounds and colors found in nature,” his resulting passacaglia incorporates chanting, finger-snapping, whistling, and foot-stamping, as it builds to “a powerful orchestral hip-hop energy.” The New York City premiere of Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds at Carnegie Hall this Saturday will stream live on, after which Dutoit and the orchestra look forward to reprising it on a two-week tour of China.

Click here to see the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America rehearsing Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds.

High-resolution promotional photos may be downloaded here.


Tan Dun: summer performances

July 10
Purchase, NY
Purchase College, SUNY
National Youth Symphony of the United States of America / Charles Dutoit
Tan Dun: Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds (world premiere)

July 11
New York, NY
Carnegie Hall
National Youth Symphony of the United States of America / Charles Dutoit
Tan Dun: Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds

July 15–26
Tour of China: National Youth Symphony of the United States of America / Charles Dutoit
Tan Dun: Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds
July 15: Beijing (National Centre for the Performing Arts)
July 17: Shanghai (Shanghai Oriental Art Center)
July 19: Suzhou (Suzhou Cultural and Arts Centre)
July 21: Xi’an (Xi’an Concert Hall)
July 23: Shenzhen (Shenzhen Concert Hall)
July 24: Guangzhou (Xinghai Concert Hall)
July 26: Hong Kong (Hong Kong Cultural Centre)

Aug 13
Los Angeles, CA
Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles Philharmonic / Tan Dun
“Martial Arts Trilogy”
Tan Dun: Banquet Concerto (with Zhang Zuo, piano)
Tan Dun: Hero Concerto (with Ray Chen, violin)
Tan Dun: Crouching Tiger Concerto (with Johannes Moser, cello)
Tan Dun: The Triple Resurrection

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© 21C Media Group, July 2015

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