On February 15th, 2020 Tan Dun conducted the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra in a very special concert that strove to raise awareness and support for those that are suffering from the coronavirus – Covid-19.
In support of the fight against Covid-19, Tan Dun wrote a new work inspired by the well-known percussion instruments from Wuhan. The world premiere of his “12 Sounds of Wuhan” was written for “Wuhan” gongs and “Wuhan” Tam Tam’s paired with symphony orchestra. The concert also featured Tan Dun conducting works by Toru Takemitsu, Benjamin Britten and Smetana and included his own Water Concerto with soloist Beibei Wang.
In the composer’s own words: “In the music world, we all knew of the city of Wuhan long before the Covid-19 Virus, it’s where the “Wuhan” Tam Tam and the “Wuhan” gongs are from. In Chinese culture, the number 12 symbolizes a full cycle of life. It is the journey of every individual and family, a prayer for every sound to be heard, and a reminder of the resilient Wuhan spirit.”
“Together with the orchestra and the public in Antwerp, I want to reflect on our physical vulnerability, express my condolences to the victims of the corona virus, and thank the scientists, doctors and governments for their efforts.”