Tan Dun | Water Concerto for water percussion and orchestra
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What is water? Sometimes you feel water is the voice of birth, or rebirth. But now I feel water is like tears, tears of nature. Every time I travel around I feel it’s very difficult to find clean water. Everywhere is polluted almost. So it makes me feel difficult to sing with my music…

To me, my early life, living with water, having fun with water, and playing ritualistic music with water, has become very inspiring. Somehow now, I spend so much of my time to recompose this kind of memory…to recompose this kind of experience, with the new method. In Hunan, water was a daily thing with our life. Every day we washed everything with the river. All the old women, they always went to river for laundry, making a beautiful sound, very rhythmic. So I transpose those memories of beautiful laundry sounds, and swimming sounds, body popping sounds, water dancing sounds, water teasing sounds, water popping sound, into my orchestrations.

Technically it’s very complex, because you have to find the resource color, then to blend the resource color with the institutions of orchestra color, and to have those two colors be blended as one. Every day I’m struggling for what? I’m struggling not really trying to find unusual and never been used music sound. I’m trying to find myself. If I could find myself, then I could find my music. My theory, which has been my major practiced recently, not just visual and aural, not just organic and orchestra, or not just east and west, or inside and outside, or old and new, or last and future, but all of those philosophically to figure out 1+1=1, but not equals 2. It’s very tricky and difficult, and of course, it’s very personal too..

–Tan Dun; Excerpts from an interview with Helen Elmquist; May, 2007

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Masur presented the joyous baptism that is Tan Dun’s playful and profound Water Concerto…the combination of playfulness and profundity in the strange combinations of sounds was impossible not to love.  And the audience stood and cheered heartily at the end.

–Boston Herald, USA, January 7, 2006

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27 Minutes

2(2pic).2.1+bcl.1+cbn/2220/4perc/hp.pf/str (min 86663)
Commissioned By

New York Philharmonic for Kurt Masur and percussion
World Premiere

June 3, 1999; Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center; New York City
New York Philharmonic; Christopher Lamb,percussion; Kurt Masur, conductor
Other Major Performances

Szczecin, Poland
Mieczyslaw Karłowicz Philharmonic
October 3rd, 2014

Stuttgart, Germany
Musikfest Stuttgart 2011
Stuttgart Philharmonic
Tan Dun, conductor
September 10, 2011

Montreal, Canada
Orchestres Symphonique de Montreal
Wang BeiBei, percussion
Kent Nagano, conductor
August 5-16, 2011

Toronto, Canada
Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Tan Dun, conductor
May 26, 28, 2011

Tucson, Arizona
Catalina Chamber Orchestra
Enrique Lasansky, conductor
Marie Flurry, percussionist
April 18, 2009

Flemish Radio Orchestra
Tan Dun, conductor
June 1, 2008

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Winnipeg Symphony
Beverly Johnston, percussion; Alexander Mickelthwate, conductor
May 2, 2008

Spokane, Washington
Spokane Symphony Society
Maria Flurry, percussion; Eckart Preu, conductor
January 12, 2008

Santa Cecilia, Italy
Santa Cecilia Symphony
Haruka Fujii, percussion
December 1, 2007

Stockholm, Sweden
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic
David Cossin, percussion; Tan Dun, conductor
November 8, 2007

Chamber Orchestra of Lapland
John Storgårds, conductor
August 12, 2007

Santa Ana, CA
Pacific Symphony
Christopher Lamb, percussion; Carl St. Clair, conductor
June 7, 2007

Copenhagen, Denmark
Danish Radio Symphony
Danish Radio Concert Hall
Gert Sørensen, percussion; Lan Shui, conductor
March 8, 2007

Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
Tan Dun, conductor
January 17, 2007

Boston, Massachusetts
Boston Symphony
Christopher Lamb, percussion; Kurt Masur, conductor
January 5, 2006

Madrid, Spain
Orquesta Filarmonica de Gran Canaria
Juan José Guillen, percussion; Arild Remmereit, conductor
December 10, 2005

Nagoya, Japan
Shanghai Symphony
2005 World Expo
Gert Francois, percussion; Tan Dun, conductor
May 30, 2005

Paris, France
Orchestre National de France
Christopher Lamb, percussion; Kurt Masur, conductor
December 9, 2004

Venice, Italy
Orchestra del Teatro la Fenice
Venice Biennale 2004
David Cossin, percussion; Marcello Panni, conductor
October 23, 2004

London, England
BBC Symphony Orchestra
BBC Proms
Evelyn Glennie, percussion; Tan Dun, conductor
August 2, 2004

Leipzig, Germany
Gewandhaus Orchestra
Christopher Lamb, percussion; Kurt Masur, conductor
January 25, 2001

New Zealand
New Zealand Symphony
Tan Dun, conductor
March 20, 2004

Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
Flemish Radio Orchestra
Gert Francois, percussion
March 10, 2004

Lyon, France
Orchestre National de Lyon
Tan Dun, conductor
March 6, 2004

La Jolla, California
La Jolla Symphony
Harvey Solberger, conductor
November 1, 2003

Sydney, Australia
Sydney Symphony
Tan Dun, conductor
August 21, 2003

São Paulo, Brazil
Orquestra de São Paulo
Tan Dun, conductor
June 19, 2003

São Paulo, Brazil
New York Philharmonic
South American Tour
Kurt Masur, conductor

Hanover, Germany
Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester
Mihkel Kutson, conductor
June 1, 2003

Gent, Belgium
Flemish Radio Orchestra
David Cossin, percussion; Tan Dun, conductor
January 18 2003

Radio Chamber Orchestra/Utrecht Vredenbrg
Peter Eötvös, conductor
November 10, 2002

Talinn, Estonia
Estonia National Symphony
Steven Schick, percussion; Olari Elts, conductor
October 18, 2002

Singapore Symphony
Tan Dun, conductor
May 31, 2002

Shanghai, China
Shanghai Symphony
Tan Dun, conductor
May 19, 2002

Columbus, Ohio
Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra
Tan Dun, conductor
May 4, 2002

San Diego, California
San Diego Symphony
Jung Ho Pak, conductor
April 27, 2002

Sacramento, California
Sacramento Philharmonic
Michael Morgan, conductor
January 5, 2002

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Christopher Lamb, percussion; Tan Dun, conductor
November 29, 2001

London, England
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Christopher Lamb, percussion; Kurt Masur, conductor
March 21, 2001

Beijing, China
Beijing Music Festival
Tan Dun, conductor
October 26, 2001

Irvine, California
Philharmonic Society Orange Co
Tan Dun, conductor
October 19, 2001

Tallinn, Estonia
Eesti Kontsert
August, 2001

Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei Symphony
Tan Dun, conductor
May 18, 2001
More Info
For booking inquiries please contact info@tandunoffice.com