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.Read More

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


“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



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

October 3, 2014
Szczecin, Poland
Mieczyslaw Karłowicz Philharmonic

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

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

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

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

June 1, 2008
Flemish Radio Orchestra
Tan Dun, conductor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 17, 2007
Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
Tan Dun, conductor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 31, 2002
Singapore Symphony
Tan Dun, conductor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 2001
Tallinn, Estonia
Eesti Kontsert

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