- Tan Dun Fight Scene - photo by Tomasz Wiech
While our national orchestra has done a great deal to broaden its appeal in recent years – including notable collaborations with Salmonella Dub and Little Bushman – it’s probably safe to say you probably don’t associate the NZSO with martial arts movies.
That’s about to change, however, with a special concert they’ve lined up to mark the Year of the Snake and Chinese New Year (and, as it happens, a certain commercial holiday associated with romance). The NZSO will perform scores from three classic martial arts films – The Banquet, Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – conducted by the acclaimed composer of those scores, Tan Dun.
Tan Dun Martial Arts Trilogy will be a true multimedia experience, with scenes from the films projected above the orchestra as they play – the graceful, balletic martial arts choreography providing the ideal accompaniment to Tan’s epic compositions. Tan will be joined on stage by violinist Ryu Goto, pianist Yingdi Sun, and Tan Wei on traditional Chinese erhu – each representing a different character from the trilogy.
Tan Dun is no stranger to our shores – back in 1988 he spent seven weeks here on a fellowship at Victoria University, and since then has returned to perform with the NZSO several times. His score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon may have netted him an Oscar (and global attention) – but he was already a rising star at that point, having received several international awards and numerous important commissions.
The opportunity to see Tan conduct his Martial Arts Trilogy – let alone with the NZSO – is a rare one, and you’re strongly encouraged to take advantage of it.
UPDATED: Thanks to everyone who entered our Tan Dun competition. The winners were Cas and Ming – hope you both enjoy the show.