Following critical acclaim for their performance during the 2016 Lunar New Year Celebration, the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra returns with renowned composer and conductor Tan Dun to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Feb 15, 2018. [Photo by Yassine El Mansouri]
A leading symphony orchestra in China rang in the Year of the Dog at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with a performance that introduced two contemporary Chinese works to an American audience Thursday evening, the eve of the traditional Chinese New Year.
Under the baton of Tan Dun, the Oscar winner and UNESCO Global Goodwill Ambassador, the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra presented a program featuring Fireworks and The Firebird Suite by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky as well as Tan Dun's own triple concerto themed on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which was inspired by the award-winning martial arts epic.
The program also included the US premiere of Chinese composer Guan Xia's 100 Birds Flying Toward the Phoenix, written for orchestra and suona, a Chinese double-reed woodwind instrument.
"In his Triple Concerto (for piano, violin and violoncello), Tan Dun molds the beauty and profound spirit of Chinese wuxia (martial arts) philosophy into a musical drama," the Playbill said in its February issue.
"The three instruments converge on a journey of passion, philosophy and love, stretching across time and space, and melding together to create an evocative expanse," the monthly US magazine for theatergoers said.
The performance won several standing ovations from the audience at the concert hall of the Kennedy Center.