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Tan Dun (Composer)

Tan Dun is widely recognized for using non-traditional and organic instruments in his compositions. His piece Water Passion After St. Matthew employs amplified bowls of water in lieu of traditional percussion, and his Paper Concerto (2003) relies solely on the manipulation of paper to create music. He is also recognized for adding multimedia aspects to his performances, such as orchestras that interact with video, or audience participation.
For the official ceremony for the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong on July 1, 1997, he was commissioned to write Symphony 1997: Heaven Earth Mankind, for cello soloist (who was Yo-Yo Ma during the first performances), the recently unearthed ancient bianzhong bells, children's choir and orchestra.
In 1998 he was awarded The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts by the Council for the Arts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 1999 he was selected by the Glenn Gould Foundation as the recipient of the 1996 City of Toronto - Glenn Gould International Protйgй Prize in Music.
In 2000 Tan, along with Sofia Gubaidulina, Osvaldo Golijov, and Wolfgang Rihm, was commissioned by Helmuth Rilling and the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart to write a piece for the Passion 2000 project in commemoration of Johann Sebastian Bach. His contribution was the Water Passion After St. Matthew. The piece was widely performed in Europe and was subsequently given its American premiere by the Oregon Bach Festival, also under Rilling's direction.
Tan's adaptation of the Chinese folk song Molihua (meaning Jasmine Flower), which he co-authored with Wang Hesheng, was played before, during and after each of the 302 medal ceremonies at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Tan described the piece as, "a gift from the Chinese people to the world's athletes."
In late 2006 Tan Dun premiered “Zen Shaolin” an outdoor production near Shaolin Temple in Henan, China.
In 2008, he was commissioned by Google to compose "Internet Symphony No. 1 'Eroica'" to be performed collaboratively by the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. That same year, he was commissioned by New York Philharmonic for Lang Lang to compose his First Piano Concerto, subtitled "The Fire"

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