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Tan Dun’s Martial Arts Sonata Trilogy

Tan Dun’s Martial Arts Sonata Trilogy


Seiji Ozawa Hall - Lenox, MA View Map

An evening of chamber works by Tan Dun, the world-renowned artist and UNESCO Global Goodwill Ambassador.  Inspired by the music from Mr. Dun’s acclaimed film scores to “Hero” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” the evening will also feature video excerpts from these award-winning movies.

In the Composer’s Words

“Sword-tough warrior with a mellow melodic soul, the greatest music makes no sound, the will is
unbound by any shape, silence is louder than any sound.” These well-known Chinese expressions
have been passed down generation over generation and reveal a close relationship between martial
arts and music in that their shared philosophical and aesthetic pursuits are very similar.

"Martial Arts Cycle" is my effort to bring together the music I have composed for three martial arts
films into one "music drama": Violin Sonata "Hero", Cello Sonata "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon",
and Piano Sonata "The Banquet" are played in sequence, culminating in a Piano, Violin, and Cello
Trio "The Triple Resurrection".

Featured Performers

Ryu Goto, violin
Ryu Goto, violin View biography in full page >

Ryu Goto has established himself as a significant voice in classical music, with a large and growing public in Asia, North America and Europe. Ryu’s career began at age seven when he made his debut at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, playing Paganini’s Violin Concerto No.1. Since then, Ryu has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including National Symphony Orchestra (DC), London Philharmonic, Münchner Philharmoniker, Wiener Symphoniker, Sydney Symphony, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre national de Lyon, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Hamburger Symphoniker and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with conductors Lorin Maazel, Tan Dun, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Fabio Luisi, Leonard Slatkin, Kent Nagano, Myung-Whun Chung, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Andrés Orozco-Estrada and Jonathan Nott. Ryu has performed in many of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Tokyo Suntory Hall, Sydney Opera House, Shanghai Grand Theater, Taipei National Concert Hall, Vienna Musikverein, Munich’s Herkulessaal and the Philharmonic Hall Gasteig. In January 2018 Ryu celebrated Bernstein’s 100th Anniversary playing his masterpiece “Serenade” with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, and in March he joined the New York Philharmonic touring Asia under the baton of Maestro Jaap van Zweden. In addition, Ryu gave a tour of 10 sold-out recitals throughout Japan in the summer of 2018.

Ryu’s philanthropic work includes working with student musicians throughout the world, mentoring their development and conducting master classes in conjunction with the world’s top institutions. Efforts include the “Ryu Goto Excellence in Music Initiative Scholarship” with the NYC Department of Education, as well as collaborations with institutions such as the Juilliard School and the Harvard Bach Society Orchestra. He does extensive musical outreach in developing countries in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa.

In Japan Ryu’s features in media are numerous, including his own documentary “Ryu Goto’s Odyssey”, a chronicle of his career and personal life from 1996-2006. He has served as spokesperson for the East Japan Railway Company. From October 2015 to March 2017, Ryu appeared weekly on TV Asahi’s show, Untitled Concert, a nationally televised program in Japan listed in Guinness World Records as “the longest-running TV program for classical music.”

Ryu records for Deutsche Grammophon in collaboration with Universal Classics Japan. In May 2011 he graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Physics, and is currently studying the violin with Prof. Ana Chumachenco. A member of the US-Japan Council, Ryu has been honored with an award from the Japanese American Bar Association as a Japanese-American leader. He holds a 3rd degree black belt from the Japan Karate Association, and is fluent in multiple languages including English, Japanese, French and Chinese. Ryu performs on the Stradivarius 1722 violin “Jupiter” on loan to him from Nippon Music Foundation.


Ryu Goto, violin Wei Yu, cello
Wei Yu, cello View biography in full page >

Wei Yu was appointed Principal Cello, the James C. Gordon Chair, of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra by Music Director Leonard Slatkin in 2014. He made his subscription debut performing Dvorak's Cello Concerto and has appeared as soloist with the DSO every season ever since. Before joining the DSO, Wei Yu was a member of the New York Philharmonic for seven seasons.

Yu was a prizewinner at the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String, Holland American Music Society Cello, Music Teacher National Association (MTNA National Collegiate Strings), Canada’s National Music Festival, Calgary’s Kiwanis Festival and China’s National Cello competitions.
An avid chamber musician, Wei Yu has been invited to the Marlboro, Ravinia, Great Lakes Chamber Music and Mainly Mozart music festivals. Yu has recently collaborated with musicians such as cellist Carter Brey, David Soyer, pianists Richard Goode and Menahem Pressler, violinists Augustin Hadelich, Midori and Pinchas Zukerman, and members of the Guarneri, Emerson and Juilliard Quartets. As a member of the New York Philharmonic Ensembles, he made regular appearances at Merkin Concert Hall.
A successful instructor, Yu serves on faculty of Northwestern University Bienen School Of Music. He has given cello masterclasses at universities and festivals in the United States, Canada, Poland and China. During the summer Yu teaches at the Morningside Music Bridge International Music Festival in Calgary, Canada; Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra of USA and the Center Stage Strings Summer Institute at the University of Michigan. 

Born in Shanghai, China, Wei Yu began studying the cello at age 4 and made his concerto debut at age 11, performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He received his B.M. from North Park University in Chicago and M.M. from the Juilliard School. His principal teachers include Mei-Juan Liu, John Kadz, Hans Jørgen Jensen, and David Soyer. He performs on the 1720 "Bedetti" David Tecchler cello, on generous loan from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
During his first season with the DSO, the Detroit Free Press has praised his performances:

"Nearly all of the soloists made strong impressions, but special mention must go to new principal cellist Wei Yu... The grace, poise, liquid legato and purity of tone and pitch that Yu produced in these few moments were stunning in their authority and beauty — a very good sign for the future of the orchestra."  - January 17, 2015

Wei Yu, cello
Magdalena Baczewska, piano
Magdalena Baczewska, piano View biography in full page >

Born in Poland, Magdalena Baczewska [baCHEVska] has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as a pianist, harpsichordist, educator, recording artist, producer, and an administrator, currently serving as Director of the Music Performance Program and Lecturer in Music at Columbia University. The press describes her as a “world-class” musician (The American Record Guide), and a “player of taste and admirable sensitivity” (Palm Beach Arts Paper). Her performances have been praised as “eloquent & technically flawless” (The Washington Post), “highly sophisticated and truly admirable” (The Weekend, New York). She has concertized worldwide, performing with the San Francisco Symphony, China National Symphony, and Macao Symphony, among others. She has appeared in concert with violinist Joshua Bell, as well as with maestro Tan Dun, with whom she has enjoyed an extensive collaboration. Magdalena is the first pianist since Rosalyn Tureck to perform Bach’s Goldberg Variations twice in one evening, on the harpsichord, then on piano. Her 2016 album, containing works of Chopin and Szymanowski (Paraty), and has been applauded for its “imagination and spontaneity” (Jan den Kruijiff, Musikalifeiten), and  “magnificent, unique voice” which “ stylistically never falters “ (Donald Isler, Classical Music Guide Online). 

Magdalena is a laureate of international piano competitions, as well as the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Polish Minister of Culture. She holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Mannes College The New School for Music, under the tutelage of Jerome Rose, and her doctoral degree from Manhattan School of Music, in the studio of Constance Keene. Her doctoral dissertation, In Search of Bach’s Cantabile: The Role and Aspects of Oratory and Singing in Keyboard Interpretation was published by Lambert Academic Publishing.

Magdalena is a full-time faculty member of Columbia University, where she teaches Music Humanities and conducts a weekly performance master class. She has given piano master classes worldwide, in the Central Conservatory (Beijing, China), International Keyboard Institute and Festival (NYC); Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, to name a few. She also gives long-distance master classes using Remote Lesson Yamaha Disklavier technology. In her spare time, Magdalena volunteers as an instructor of music appreciation online, reaching out to homebound seniors via Virtual Senior Center program. ​

As Artistic Director of BlueSleep Music, Magdalena produced music for MetroNaps EnergyPod®, popularized by Google. Her best-selling albums Music for Dreams were conceived with BlueSleep®, a medical team specialized in research and treatment of sleep disorders.

Magdalena is Artistic Director of the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition in New York City, and member of the board of the International Keyboard Institute and Festival.

Magdalena is a Yamaha Artist. She enjoys traveling and learning new languages, most recently having taken up Mandarin.

Magdalena Baczewska, piano
Program Notes Audio
Tan DUN - Hero Sonata for violin and piano
Tan DUN - Crouching Tiger Sonata for cello and piano
Tan DUN - The Banquet Sonata for piano solo
Tan DUN - The Triple Resurrection for violin, cello, and piano
Program Notes - PDF