The hero of martial arts movie music conducts the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in a special Lunar New Year concert
Tan Dun gained popularity worldwide with his soundtracks for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)and Hero (2002), but he has also won many of the most eminent prizes for contemporary classical composition, and is an accomplished conductor. For years he has given Chinese New Year concerts with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and for this year’s lunar festival we’re lucky to have him in the Sydney Opera House.
The only work of his own on the Sydney Symphony programme is 'The Secret Songs of Women', a product of his research on Nu Shu, an obscure language long concealed from males.
Tan will also conduct three symphonic works: one by Guan Xia (1957-) featuring the suona, a Chinese horn played to sound like a flock of birds; a festival overture by the Chinese composers Li Huanzhi (1919-2000); and TheMiraculous Mandarin, Bela Bartók's salacious 1926 ballet suite about the sexual entrapment of a wealthy Chinese businessman.