Tan Dun | Concerto For Six
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A playful, dance-like piece, Tan Dun’s 12-minute Concerto for Six evokes the joy of a village ritual.Traces of classical Chinese instrumental music are nonetheless evident in this one-movement work, which is constructed as a set of variations upon the number series 7-6-5-4-3-2-1. This numerical sequence governs the piece¹s metrical scheme and affects its rhythm and tempi. (In fact, the musicians¹ chanting of ³Qi-Liu-Wu-Si-San-Er Yi² is Chinese for ³Seven-Six-Five-Four-Three-Two-One.²) Contrasting with this strict formal structure are cadenzas and sections of free improvisation for each of the six players, as one might expect in a concerto.

Concerto for Six was commissioned by Bang on a Can as part of the series of works sponsored by Meet the Composer/National Arts Endowment Commissioning Music/USA, with support from the Helen F. Whitaker Fund.

–Mary Lou Humphrey

“An exuberant piece from 1997, ‘Concerto for Six,’ showed Mr. Tan’s knack for juxtaposing Chinese and Western idioms.”

–Steve Smith, New York Times, October 27, 2009



12 Minutes

bcl, egtr, prep pf, perc, vc, db
World Premiere

April 3, 1998
Durham, North Carolina
Other Performances

March 10, 2016
Rotterdam, Netherlands
De Doelen Ensemble
Tan Dun, conductor

August 12, 2013
Dublin, Ireland
Kaleidoscope Night

September 27, 2011
Nieuw Ensemble
Tan Dun, conductor

September 17, 2010
Ensemble Nomad

October 26, 2009
New York, NY
The Juilliard School of Music
Tan Dun, conductor

December 23, 2008
Milan, Italy
Fontanamix Ensemble
More Info
For booking inquiries please contact info@tandunoffice.com