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Tan Dun Conducts his Highly Acclaimed Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women at the HK Phil's 42nd Season Opening Concerts
Also Tan's Symphonic Poem on Three Notes and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto (4 & 5 September)

29 JUL 2015

Hong Kong

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[29 July 2015, Hong Kong] The iconic Tan Dun will conduct his highly acclaimed Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women at the Season Opening concerts of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) sponsored by Bank of China (Hong Kong), on 4 & 5 September in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall. His Symphonic Poem on Three Notes, which is featured on a Naxos HK Phil CD, will also be performed. Tan Dun will also conduct the hugely popular Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.

“Tan Dun’s Nu Shu…was the most elaborate, with field videos showing three generations of women in the Hunan province of China, passing of life wisdom in the form of song. Great idea, since Tan is a master scene painter with music…”
– Philadelphia Inquirer

Tan Dun is the winner of multiple prestigious awards and is best known for his score to the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In the season opening concerts, he will be conducting his own Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, which is a multi-media piece for harp, orchestra and micro film. Tan Dun captured the vibrancy of the disappearing centuries-old secret language and vocal tradition, Nu Shu, a language passed exclusively between generations of women in his home province of Hunan. The Hong Kong audience will see the stunning performance live featuring Elizabeth Hainen, solo harpist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, who also gave the work’s US première in 2013.

In the concerts, Tan Dun will also conduct his Symphonic Poem on Three Notes. Tan Dun wrote the music in 2012 as a musical gift to world renowned tenor Plácido Domingo for his 70th birthday. The music is a tribute to Mother Nature. The performance will feature metal percussionist Chenchu Rong, percussionist of Shanghai Chinese Orchestra who has collaborated with Tan Dun frequently since 2011.

Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto is one of best-loved violin concertos of many concert-goers, as well as young violinists. The performance will feature 18-year old young violinist Zeyu Victor Li who just won the First Prize of the 19th Schadt international Violin Competition in March 2015.

Masterworks: Season Opening – Tan Dun’s Nu Shu will be held on 4 & 5 September 2015 (Fri & Sat), 8PM, in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall.Tickets priced: HK$580, $480, $380, $280 are now available at URBTIX. For enquiries, please call +852 2721 2332 or visit

Bank of China (Hong Kong) is the Title Sponsor of Nu Shu: The Secrets Songs of Women at the Season Opening Concerts.

Evening talk by Tan Dun is available on 2 September at Asia Society of Hong Kong, stay tuned for details.



Free Pre-concert talks are available on both concert nights:
Date:4 September 2015 (Fri)5 September 2015 (Sat)
Time:7:15 – 7:45pm7:15 – 7:45pm
Venue:Hong Kong Cultural CentreHong Kong Cultural Centre
Speaker:Dr Joanna Lee, MusicologistDr Joanna Lee, Musicologist





Tan Dun, conductor [full biography]
Tan Dun is the winner of the most prestigious honours including the Grammy Award, Oscar/Academy Award, Musical America’s Composer of The Year and Moscow’s Shostakovich Award etc. He has led the world’s most esteemed orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Berliner Philharmoniker, Orchestre national de France and BBC Symphony Orchestra etc.



Elizabeth Hainen, harp [full biography]
Elizabeth Hainen has been the solo harpist for the Philadelphia Orchestra for over 19 years, she also appeared as a featured soloist with the City of London Sinfonia, Kennedy Center Orchestra and the Vienna Boys Choir. She has collaborated with eminent conductors such as Charles Dutoit, Michael Tilson Thomas and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos etc.

Chenchu Rong, metal percussion [full biography]
Chenchu Rong is the percussionist of Shanghai Chinese Orchestra upon graduation in 2011, and she toured around the world with the orchestra as a soloist. She was awarded the Outstanding Artist in Shanghai in 2012 and Third Place in the International Professional Multi-Percussion Competition 2013 in Athens, Greece.

Zeyu Victor Li, violin [full biography]
Zeyu Li won numerous competitions including the 9th China National Violin Competition, 2013 New York Young Concert Artist, and the 19th Schadt International Violin Competition etc. He performed as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Shanghai Philharmonic etc.


Masterworks: Season Opening – Tan Dun’s Nu Shu
4 & 5 | 9 | 2015
Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
HK$580 $480 $380 $280
Tickets are now available at URBTIX
For ages 6 and above



Tan Dunconductor
Elizabeth Hainenharp
Chenchu Rongmetal percussion
Zeyu Victor Liviolin



Click the thumbnail to download photos

Tan Dun

Elizabeth Hainen
Photo Credit: Amanda Stevenson

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Philip Chau/HK Phil

Zeyu Victor LiTan Dun’s Nu Shu

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Photo Credit: Philip Chau/HK Phil





TAN DUNSymphonic Poem on Three Notes
MENDELSSOHNViolin Concerto
TAN DUNNu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women (with projected film)







Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Music Director: Jaap van Zweden







The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil) has recently returned from an extremely successful five-country, seven-city tour of Europe, with concerts in London, Vienna, Zurich, Eindhoven, Birmingham, Berlin and Amsterdam. Most concerts were sold out, there were standing ovations, and the reviews were universally positive. The concert in Vienna’s Musikverein was filmed for future broadcast on TV. With a history stretching back to 1895, when it was formed as the Sino-British Orchestra, the HK Phil was re-named in 1957 and became fully professional in 1974.



Thanks to significant subsidy from the Hong Kong Government and long-term funding from Principal Patron Swire, the Hong Kong Jockey Club and other supporters, the HK Phil now boasts a full-time annual schedule of classical music concerts, pops concerts, an extensive education programme, and collaborations for staged opera with Opera Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

Conductors and soloists who have recently performed with the orchestra include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Ning Feng, Matthias Goerne, Lang Lang, Yu Long, Yundi Li, the late Lorin Maazel, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Yuja Wang and Edo de Waart, the HK Phil’s previous Music Director.

The HK Phil promotes the work of Hong Kong and Chinese composers through an active commissioning programme, and has released recordings featuring Tan Dun and Bright Sheng, each conducting their own compositions, on the Naxos label. Its acclaimed community engagement programme brings music to ten of thousands of children annually.

This season is Jaap van Zweden’s fourth as Music Director of the HK Phil. With him, the orchestra is undertaking major expansion and new projects, including the first-ever performances by a Hong Kong or mainland Chinese orchestra of Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung. The four operas are being performed, one a year, in concert and recorded live for the Naxos label.

The Swire Group has been the Principal Patron of the HK Phil since 2006. Through this sponsorship, which is the largest in the orchestra’s history, Swire also endeavours to promote artistic excellence, foster access to classical music and stimulate cultural participation in Hong Kong, and to enhance Hong Kong’s reputation as one of the great cities of the world.

The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
SWIRE is the Principal Patron of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is a Venue Partner of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre


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