The Philadelphia Orchestra Celebrates the Musical Culture of China with a Special One-Night-Only Performance Featuring Internationally Acclaimed Composer and Conductor Tan Dun October 12, 2019

Posted on September 23, 2019
An International cooperation project between the China Philharmonic Orchestra and six orchestras around the world commemorates the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China


The Philadelphia Orchestra selected as North American representative of world tour


Chinese superstar vocalist Tan Weiwei and celebrated suona player Yazhi Guo to perform


Magdalena Baczewska (piano), Dan Zhu (violin), and Jiapeng Nie (cello) to perform Tan Dun’s Triple Concerto “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”


(Philadelphia, September 23, 2019)—Highlighting its steadfast relationship with China, The Philadelphia Orchestra will perform a special one-night-only concert celebrating China’s musical culture on Saturday, October 12, 2019, at 8:00 PM in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The only performance in the worldwide concert series to be led by composer and conductor Tan Dun, the program includes John Adams’s The Chairman Dances and Tan Dun’s Triple Concerto for piano, violin, and cello (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”), performed by Magdalena Baczewska (piano), Dan Zhu (violin), and Jiapeng Nie (cello). Yazhi Guo (suona) will perform Guan Xia’s 100 Birds Flying Towards the Phoenix, a reimagining of folk tunes well known throughout China’s central provinces and based on the legend of the phoenix. Inspired by Cantonese folk music, and commissioned by the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Ye Xiaogang’s Cantonese Suite incorporates melodies from folk tradition into an orchestral suite similar in structure to Johannes Brahms's Hungarian Dances. The program will conclude with the North American premiere of superstar vocalist Tan Weiwei’s The Song Lines of China, a vocal concerto she composed and will perform.

This global project, which takes place at a number of the world’s preeminent concert halls, was initiated by the China Philharmonic Orchestra, one of China’s leading symphony orchestras. Under the direction of Maestro Long Yu, the China Philharmonic has appeared on stages across the world. Wu Promotion, China’s first arts promoter, and one of today’s foremost agencies, is the organizer and facilitator of this special project.

World-renowned artist and UNESCO Global Goodwill Ambassador Tan Dun has made an indelible mark on the world’s music scene with creative repertoire that spans the boundaries of classical music, multimedia performance, and Eastern and Western traditions. He has won such prestigious honors as a Grammy Award, Academy Award, Grawemeyer Award, Bach Prize, Shostakovich Award, and Italy’s Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement. His music has been played throughout the world by leading orchestras, at opera houses and international festivals, and on radio and television.

One of the most outstanding vocalists of her generation, Tan Weiwei became the first person from Mainland China to be awarded Taiwan’s Golden Horse Prize for Best Music with her work Encounters in 2009. In 2010 she released her album Tan XX, and in 2011, she published her album 3. In 2011 she was named Best Chinese Female Singer at the 11th China Music Media Awards. Tan Weiwei’s performances of The Lighthouse and Night in Ulaanbaatar from the finale of the singing competition “I Am a Singer” won best live music performance of the year.

Guo Yazhi is widely known as the best suona player in Asia. The suona is an instrument originally from the Middle East, transformed and evolved in China. He is also a multi-instrumentalist and innovator of music, specializing in woodwinds. He graduated with distinction from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and has won many international awards, including the Grand Prize at New York’s Pro Musicis International Award (1998) and the Hong Kong Award for Best Artist (2012). He has performed with many orchestras around the world collaborating with musicians from various generations, genres, and cultures.

In 1973, The Philadelphia Orchestra became the first American orchestra to perform in the People’s Republic of China, at the request of President Richard Nixon. The Orchestra returned to China 20 years later and has since returned regularly, representing a bridge for cultural, educational, and diplomatic exchange.


China Night

October 12 at 8:00 PM—Saturday evening—Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts


The Philadelphia Orchestra

Tan Dun Conductor

Magdalena Baczewska Piano

Dan Zhu Violin

Nie Jiapeng Cello

Guo Yazhi Suona

Tan Weiwei Vocalist


John Adams The Chairman Dances, foxtrot for orchestra

Tan Dun Triple Concerto, for piano, violin, and cello (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”)

Guan Xia 100 Birds Flying Towards the Phoenix, for suona and orchestra

Ye Xiaogang Excerpts from Cantonese Suite

Tan Weiwei The Song Lines of China


The International cooperation project between world famous orchestras and the China Philharmonic Orchestra is in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.


About The Philadelphia Orchestra


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Ashley Berke


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Natalie Lewis


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