In Person

with the Dunhuang Ancient Music Ensemble

May 12, 2024
6:00 - 7:30 PM ET

$100 including Post-Concert Reception and Meet-and-Greet with Tan Dun and the Artists
$35 General Admission
$20 Students
*Ticket purchases include free admission to the China Institute Gallery's spring 2024 special exhibition
Shan Shui Reboot: Re-Envisioning Landscape for a Changing World

Tickets are SOLD OUT

Join us on Sunday, May 12 from 6:00-7:30 pm for a rare opportunity to hear composer/conductor Tan Dun perform new musical pieces with the Dunhuang Ancient Music Ensemble. Tan Dun will discuss his creative process and inspirations throughout the program.

Tan Dun’s fascination and countless hours of research to translate and unearth “the ancient sounds of Dunhuang” culminated in the creation of his Dunhuang Ancient Music Ensemble. With the Ensemble and the music they will present, the artists will share musical stories that have lived in the hearts and minds of the Eastern World for thousands of years and are now finally able to be heard.

This program is supported by Re Foundation Inc. and Francesca Hu and Alyssa Hu.

This program is made possible through the support of the Chinese International Education Foundation, and generous supporters of China Institute in America.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

China Institute in America’s cultural programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Musicians' Bios

Tan Dun bio photo
Tan Dun

A world-renowned conductor-composer 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. Often programmed by the world’s leading orchestras, opera houses, festivals and broadcasters, Tan Dun’s music has been played by the likes of Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and many more. A regular guest conductor of the world’s premiere orchestras, the 2023/24 season sees him appear with Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra as well as at George Enescu International Festival, Beijing Music Festival and his personally-curated West&East Festival in Hong Kong.

In 2023, Tan Dun signed with Decca Records, who released the world-premiere recording of Buddha Passion. Previously Tan Dun has recorded for Sony Classical, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Opus Arte, BIS and Naxos. His discography has received regular acclaim from critics and audiences alike, including the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Soundtrack for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a [Japan’s Recording Academy Award] for Best Contemporary Music CD for Water Passion after St. Matthew and [BBC’s Best Orchestral Album] for Death and Fire.

Often recognised for his musical achievements, Tan Dun has been the recipient of today’s most coveted honours comprising the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Soundtrack, 2000 Academy Award for Best Original Score, 2000 BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, 1998 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, 2011 Bach Prize of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, 2012 D. D. Shostakovich Award, Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement and, most recently, Istanbul Music Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Wenwen Li Square
Wenwen Liu

One of the most outstanding young suona performers of her generation, Liu Wenwen currently serves as a professor in the Ethnic Music Department at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Ms. Liu has won many awards on the folk music stage both at home and abroad. Representing a new generation of suona performers in China, she upholds tradition while interpreting it from a modern perspective. In 2010, she was invited to the National Center for the Performing Arts to perform in the May Music Festival's "Butterfly Dance in Spring and Autumn" concert, following which she toured with the Shanghai Ministry of Culture, as soloist, for 11 concerts in Australia and New Zealand. In 2017, she was invited to Melbourne and Sydney for their Chinese New Year's Concerts conducted and curated by composer Tan Dun. She has since collaborated with well-known conductors Xia Feiyun, Wang Yongji, Tan Dun, Yan Huichang, Daniel Kafka, etc. on many solo works, winning unanimous praise. Ms. Liu has had the privilege to perform and collaborate with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra of Norway, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Zhang Meng Square
Zhang Meng

Zhang Meng is an up and coming composer and soloist - a musician who integrates academic neo-classical music, traditional Chinese folk music and rock and avant-garde music. As a performer, Zhang Meng focuses on Sheng and Xun, and has collaborated with many composers, conductors and professional orchestras at home and abroad. A frequent collaborator of composer Tan Dun’s, he has performed both his "Earth Concerto" (Xun) and "Five Muses" (Sheng) around the world; as well as "Thousands of miles of rivers and mountains" (Sheng) composed by Zhao Lin on tour with the China Philharmonic Orchestra led by Yu Long (Conductor). As a composer, Zhang Meng's representative works include: "24 solar terms" (National Chamber Music Theater Music, 2017), "Hao Yao" (Percussion Concerto, commissioned by the BBC Concert Orchestra, 2018), "Sound of 4D" (commissioned by Shanghai Concert Hall Music Endless Project, 2021), “Enter the Zen/Water Dream/Reality” (commissioned project by Tan Dun Water Music Hall for Young Composers, 2021), among others. Zhang Meng's latest solo work is "Summer Night without Words" (Sheng and String quartet), “The Third Preconception in Unknown Time” which was published and produced by BADHEAD label in 2022/2023.

Han Yan Square
Han Yan

Han Yan is an up-and-coming pipa soloist and professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She is also a member of the Pipa Professional Committee of the Shanghai Musicians Association. Ms. Han has won many national competitions and awards from both the Ministry of Culture and others. Including a gold medal in the Youth Group of the 3rd National Youth Instrumental Performance Competition and silver medal (first place) in the Pipa Youth Group 5th National Music Instrumental Performance Competition. Ms. Han has been active on domestic and international music stages as a soloist and chamber musician. Performing in such countries as Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand as a soloist with the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China’s “Chinese Culture—Chinese and Western String Rhymes” event. Ms. Han has also been invited by conductor/composer Tan Dun to record for the 15th meeting of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. In 2021, she was invited to participate as a soloist in the closing ceremony concert of the 24th Beijing International Music Festival. This past year she participated in the opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi International Music Festival as a soloist and soloist in the premiere of a new composition “Requiem for Nature” by Tan Dun with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam and three concerts as soloist with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome.

Bowen Yang Square
Bowen Yang

Mr. Yang is a young, up and coming Chinese soloist and ethnic music artist of the Chiba also known as the Shakuhachi. He graduated from the Ethnic Department at the Central Conservatory of Music. Mr. Yang has received the national title of Intangible Cultural Heritage Promotion Ambassador and, in 2021, won the championship of Japan's Tanabe International Shakuhachi (Chiba) Competition. He was also awarded by the Yamashiro Society in Japan in 2022. Since 2018, his works have been selected for the Kumamoto Festival in Japan for three consecutive years. In 2020, he was selected as soloist in composer Tan Dun's musical work "Five Muses" in Hong Kong and was invited to participate in the third season of Guangdong Satellite TV's "Chinese Music Ceremony". Mr. Yang has participated in various TV/online programs in China including "Praise for the Song" produced by Douyin, has participated in the national competition reality show "Chinese Chaoyin" jointly produced by Kugou Music and Youku, and participated in a music competition program "China Chaoyin" launched by China Central Radio and Television. In 2022, he participated in "Chinese Dream· My Dream - 2022 China Online Audiovisual Annual Ceremony".

Yunqi Square
Yunqi Zhu

Ms. Zhu is currently a master’s student at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in erhu performance. She was a finalist in the national erhu competition "Golden Bell Award of Chinese Music" in both 2023 and 2019. She was also selected by the China National Arts Fund as a member of the "Sijunzi" Huqin Ensemble Group and won the Wenhua (Cultural) Award in the 7th National Youth Ethnic Musical Instrument Education and Teaching Achievements Exhibition in 2021. Ms. Zhu was also selected into the elite "Dengfeng Talent" Training Program of Shanghai Conservatory of Music and came first in her exams in 2020. Ms. Zhu also serves as Principal of the National Orchestra of Shanghai Conservatory of Music during the academic year, and successfully held her first individual soloist concert, winning the “First Prize of People's Scholarship”.

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