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Tan Dun


About this Artist

The world-renowned artist and UNESCO Global Goodwill Ambassador TAN DUN, has made an indelible mark on the world’s music scene with a creative repertoire that spans the boundaries of classical music, multimedia performance, and Eastern and Western traditions. A winner of today’s most prestigious honors including the Grammy Award, Oscar/Academy Award, Grawemeyer Award, Bach Prize, Shostakovich Award, and most recently Italy’s Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement, Tan Dun’s music has been played throughout the world by leading orchestras, opera houses, international festivals, and on radio and television. This past year, Tan Dun conducted the grand opening celebration of Disneyland Shanghai which was broadcast to a record-breaking audience worldwide.

As a conductor of innovative programs around the world, Tan Dun has led the China tours of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra. His current season includes leading the Orchestre National de Lyon in a five-city China tour, the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra in a four-city tour of Switzerland and Belgium, as well as engagements with the RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra where he was recently named Artistic Ambassador. Tan Dun currently serves as the Honorary Artistic Director of the China National Symphony Orchestra. Next season, he will conduct the English Chamber Orchestra in their tour of China. 

Tan Dun’s individual voice has been heard widely by international audiences. His first Internet Symphony, which was commissioned by Google/YouTube, has reached over 23 million people online. His Organic Music Trilogy of Water, Paper, and Ceramic has frequented major concert halls and festivals. Paper Concerto was premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall. His multimedia work, The Map, premiered by Yo-Yo Ma and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, has toured more than 30 countries worldwide. Its manuscript has been collected by the Carnegie Hall Composers Gallery. His Orchestral Theatre IV: The Gate was premiered by Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra and crosses the cultural boundaries of Peking Opera, Western Opera, and puppet theater traditions. Other important premieres include Four Secret Roads of Marco Polo for the Berlin Philharmonic, and the piano concerto The Fire for Lang Lang and the New York Philharmonic. In recent years, his percussion concerto, The Tears of Nature, for soloist Martin Grubinger, premiered in 2012 with the NDR Symphony Orchestra, and his Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women Symphony for 13 Microfilms, Harp and Orchestra was co-commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam. Most recently, Tan Dun conducted the premiere of his new oratorio epic, Buddha Passion, at the Dresden Festival with the Münchner Philharmoniker; the piece was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and the Dresden Festival and is now having performances in Melbourne, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Hamburg, Singapore, and London in the current and coming seasons.

Tan Dun records for Sony Classical, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Opus Arte, BIS, and Naxos. His recordings have garnered many accolades, including a Grammy Award (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Grammy nominations (The First Emperor; Marco Polo; Pipa Concerto), Japan’s Recording Academy Award for Best Contemporary Music CD (Water Passion after St. Matthew), and the BBC’s Best Orchestral Album (Death and Fire). 

For more information on Tan Dun, please visit

Tan Dun would also like to thank the Dunhuang Foundation and its trustees, particularly Jeff Xiong and Rita Hu, as well as William and Judith Bollinger, for their generous support of Buddha Passion. The Bollingers’ generous gift was given in memory of the Honorable Lee Kwan Yew.