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Encyclopedia > Tan Dun

Tan Dunn (pinyin: Tán Dùn, 譚盾; born August 18, 1957) is a Chinese composer, most widely known as the Grammy and Oscar award winning composer for the soundtracks of the movies Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero. August 18 is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Grammy Award statuette The Grammy Awards, presented by the Recording Academy (an association of Americans professionally involved in the recorded music industry) for outstanding achievements in the recording industry, is one of four major music awards shows held annually in the United States (the Billboard Music Awards, the American Music... The references in this article would be clearer with a different and/or consistent style of citation, footnoting or external linking. ... UK DVD cover Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ) is a Chinese-language wuxia (chivalric martial arts) film released in 2000. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Early life in China

Tan Dun was born in the village of Simao, Changsha in the Hunan province of China. As a child, he was fascinated by the role in his village of the shaman, who conducted rituals and ceremonies, often set to music made with organic objects such as rocks and water. However, as a child in the midst of China's cultural revolution, this kind of "backward thinking" was frowned upon, and he was sent to work as a rice planter on a government commune. Mao Zedong Museum in Changsha Changsha (Simplified Chinese: é•¿æ²™; Traditional Chinese: é•·æ²™; Pinyin: Chángshā; Wade-Giles: Chang-sha) is the capital of Hunan, a province of Southcentral China, located on the lower reaches of Xiangjiang river, a branch of the Yangtze River. ...   (Chinese: ; pinyin: Húnán) is a province of China, located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting (hence the name Hunan, meaning south of the lake). Hunan is sometimes called 湘 (pinyin: Xiāng) for short, after the Xiang River which runs through the... The shaman is an intellectual and spiritual figure who is regarded as possessing power and influence on other peoples in the tribe and performs several functions, primarily that of a healer ( medicine man). The shaman provides medical care, and serves other community needs during crisis times, via supernatural means (means... The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; literally Proletarian Cultural Great Revolution; often abbreviated to 文化大革命 wénhuà dà gémìng, literally Great Cultural Revolution, or even simpler, to 文革 wéngé, Cultural Revolution) in the Peoples Republic of China was a struggle for power within the...

That, however, had little effect on his affinity for music. He created his own musical group, utilizing peasants in the village and playing whatever they could, sometimes just banging on pots and pans. It was from these peasants that he began to learn to play traditional Chinese string instruments.

His escape from the commune came in the form of a government sponsored touring company of the Peking opera. When a ferry full of performers capsized near the commune, killing several of them, Tan was employed by the troupe and left the commune. In Beijing, September 2002 Beijing opera or Peking opera (京剧, pinyin: Jīngjù) is a kind of Chinese opera which arose in the mid-19th century and was extremely popular in the Qing dynasty court. ...

From there he went to the China Conservatory of Music, and studied with musicians such as Toru Takemitsu, who strongly influenced his musicianship, and his sense of musical style. Tōru Takemitsu (武満 徹 Takemitsu Tōru, October 8, 1930 - February 20, 1996) was a Japanese composer of music, who explored the compositional principles of Western classical music and his native Japanese tradition both in isolation and in combination. ...

Move to America

In 1985, he moved to New York City as a doctoral student at Columbia University, studying composition with Chou Wen-chung, who had studied with and assisted the composer Edgard Varèse. It was there that Tan discovered the music of experimental musicians such as Philip Glass, John Cage, Meredith Monk and Steve Reich. He gradually realised he could incorporate all these disparate influences - his upbringing in Hunan, his classical training at the conservatory and the contemporary experimental composers in New York - into his compositions. Columbia University is a private university whose main campus lies in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of the Borough of Manhattan in New York City. ... Chou Wen-chung (surname Chou, b. ... Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse (December 22, 1883 – November 6, 1965) was a French-born composer. ... Philip Glass (born January 31, 1937) is an American composer. ... John Cage For the character of John Cage from the TV show Ally McBeal see: John Cage (Character) John Milton Cage (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American experimental music composer, writer and visual artist. ... Meredith Monk (born November 20, 1942, in Lima, Peru) is an American composer, performer, director, vocalist, film-maker, and choreographer. ... Stephen Michael Reich (born October 3, 1936) is an American composer. ...

Musical style and compositions

Tan Dun is widely recognized for using non traditional and organic instruments in his compositions. His piece Water Passion After St. Matthew employs amplified bowls of water in lieu of traditional percussion, and his Paper Concerto relies solely on the manipulation of paper to create music. He is also recognized for adding multimedia aspects to his performances, such as orchestras that interact with video, or audience participation.

For the official ceremony for the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong on July 1, 1997, he was commissioned to write Symphony 1997: Heaven Earth Mankind, for cello soloist (who was Yo-Yo Ma at the first performances), the recently unearthed ancient bianzhong bells, children's choir and orchestra. In 1982, the governments of the United Kingdom and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) initiated talks regarding the sovereignty of Hong Kong, which led to the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong. ... July 1 is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 183 days remaining. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the stringed instrument. ... Yo-Yo Ma (Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Mǎ Yǒuyǒu) (born October 7, 1955) is a French-born Chinese American virtuoso cellist, considered one of the finest in the world. ... Bianzhong (編鐘) is an ancient Chinese musical instrument consisting of a set of bronze bells. ...

In 1994 he was awarded The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts by the Council for the Arts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, is a private coeducational research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. MIT has five schools and one college, containing 32 academic departments,[2] with a strong emphasis on theoretical, applied, and interdisciplinary scientific and technological research. ...

In 1996 he was selected by the Glenn Gould Foundation as the recipient of the 1996 City of Toronto - Glenn Gould International Protégé Prize in Music. 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... The Glenn Gould Prize is an international award bestowed by the Glenn Gould Foundation. ...

In 2000 Dun, along with Sofia Gubaidulina, Osvaldo Golijov, and Wolfgang Rihm, was commissioned by the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart project to write a piece for the Passion 2000 project in commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach. His contribution was the Water Passion After St. Matthew. Sofia Gubaidulina in Sortavala 1981 Sofia Asgatovna Gubaidulina, (Russian София Асгатовна Губайдулина) (born October 24, 1931) is a Russian-Tatar composer of deeply religious music. ... Osvaldo Golijov (born in La Plata, Argentina, December 5, 1960) is a composer of classical music . ... Wolfgang Rihm (b. ... The 1748 Haussmann portrait of the composer Bach redirects here. ...


  • Marco Polo, was first shown at the Münchener Biennale, in Munich, on May 7, 1996.
  • Peony Pavilion, premiered at the Wiener Festwochen, in Vienna, on May 12, 1998.
  • Tea: A Mirror of the Soul, with a libretto by Tan and Xu Ying, was commissioned by Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Japan and was given its world premiere performance there on October 22, 2002. The opera will receive its US premiere during the 2007 season of the Santa Fe Opera.
  • The First Emperor, received its world premiere performance on December 21, 2006 in New York City at the Metropolitan Opera, which had commisioned the work, with the composer conducting. The libretto, by Tan and Ha Jin, is based on the life of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, who unified the country and built an early version of the Great Wall. The production is by film director Zhang Yimou. Plácido Domingo sang the title role, with Elizabeth Futral as the emperor's daughter and Paul Groves as the musician Gao Jianli.

Munich: Frauenkirche and Town Hall steeple Munich: St. ... Inhabitants according to official census figures: 1800 to 2005 Vienna in 1858 Vienna (German: Wien ) is the capital of Austria, and also one of the nine States of Austria. ... Suntory Hall was constructed in the late 70s and early 80s is a Hall in Tokyo, Japan the first just for Musical concerts. ... For other uses, see Tokyo (disambiguation). ... The Santa Fe Opera is an opera company in Santa Fe, New Mexico. ... The First Emperor is a tragic opera by Tan Dun that saw its world premiere at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on December 21, 2006. ... The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, seen from Lincoln Center Plaza A full house at the old Metropolitan Opera House, seen from the rear of the stage, at the Metropolitan Opera House for a concert by pianist Józef Hofmann, November 28, 1937. ... JÄ«n XuÄ›fÄ“i (Simplified Chinese: 金雪飞; Traditional Chinese: 金雪飛; born February 21, 1956) is a contemporary Chinese-American writer using the pen name Ha Jin (哈金). Ha Jin was born in Liaoning, China in 1956. ... Qin Shi Huang (Chinese: ; pinyin: Qín Shǐ Huáng; Wade-Giles: Chin Shih-huang) (November / December 260 BCE – September 10, 210 BCE), personal name Zheng, was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 247 BCE to 221 BCE, and then the first emperor of a unified China... The Great Wall in the winter The Great Wall of China (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ; literally The long wall of 10,000 Li (里)¹) is a Chinese fortification built from the 5th century BC until the beginning of the 17th century, in order to protect the various dynasties from raids... Zhang Yimou (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Zhāng Yìmóu;  ) (born November 14, 1951) is an internationally acclaimed Chinese filmmaker and cinematographer. ... Plácido Domingo Plácido Domingo [1] (born January 21, 1941) [2] is a world-famous Spanish operatic tenor, well-known for his versatile, strong voice that is possessed of a ringing and clear tone throughout its range. ... Elizabeth Futral is an American coloratura soprano who has won acclaim throughout the United States as well as in Europe, South America, and Japan. ...

External links

  • Tan Dun official site
  • Tan Dun interview

Listening on line

  • Art of the States: Tan Dun Nine Songs (1989)

  Results from FactBites:
Tan Dun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (518 words)
Tan Dun (譚盾 born August 18, 1957) is best known as the Grammy and Oscar award winning composer for the soundtrack of the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero.
Tan Dun was born in Simao, in the Hunan province of China.
In 2000 Dun, along with Sofia Gubaidulina, Osvaldo Golijov, and Wolfgang Rihm, was commissioned by the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart project to write a piece for the Passion 2000 project in commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach.
BMOP :: Tan Dun (905 words)
Tan Dun 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 created this new work from the melodic material of the opera, which is influenced both by Chinese opera and twentieth-century rock and pop music.
Tan Dun is currently the artistic director of the Tanglewood Contemporary Festival and the artistic director of the 2000 Festival for the Barbican Centre London.
  More results at FactBites »



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