Tan Dun - Details


Tan Dun began his career in his native China in the Peking Opera. A graduate of Beijing’s Central Conservatory and Columbia University in New York, Tan Dun has created world-premiere recordings of his opera Marco Polo and Symphony 1997 (Heaven Earth Mankind), a large choral-orchestral work written to commemorate the occasion of the return of Hong Kong to China. Tan Dun’s original score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon features performances by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who was also soloist on Symphony 1997.

For the BBC’s live, 27-hour coverage of the arrival of the millennium around the world, Tan Dun created original music that appears on A World Symphony for the Millennium. He composed a signature theme for the coverage and an elaborate suite that was heard throughout the live telecast around the world as viewers welcomed in the Millennium.

Tan Dun himself conducted the Sony Classical recording of Symphony 1997 (Heaven Earth Mankind), performed live at the reunification ceremony in Hong Kong on July 1, 1997. In the fall of 1997, Marco Polo had its American debut at the New York City Opera. This highly original operatic treatment of the spiritual journey of the adventurer Marco Polo was commissioned by the Edinburgh Festival and premiered in 1996 at the Munich Biennale, with subsequent performances at the Holland and Hong Kong Festivals. The German magazine Oper named Tan Dun composer of the year for Marco Polo.

Among many international awards he has received, Tan Dun was named one of the Musicians of the Year (1997) by the New York Times and was selected by Toru Takemitsu for the 1996 City of Toronto Glenn Gould Prize in Music and Communication. Tan Dun is currently the artistic director of the Tanglewood Contemporary Festival and the artistic director of the 2000 Festival for Barbican Centre London.