Live recording of Tan Dun’s Concerto (Zheng) in Hong Kong City Hall

Johnny M L POON (Performer)

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance


This research is based on the latest corrected version (2013) of Tan Dun’s Concerto for String Orchestra and Pipa or Zheng published by G. Schirmer. It seeks to demonstrate how the artistic property of the same music could change with the substitution of solo Chinese instruments (the plucked Pipa lute vs the plucked Zheng zither). Item 1 of the output is a live performance recording of the concerto using the Zheng as the solo instrument. The performance was recorded in Hong Kong City Hall on 27 January 2014. Item 2 is a live performance of the concerto with Pipa as the solo instrument. This performance was part of the Chinese New Year Concert presented by Harmonic Lane in conjunction with the Hong Kong Trade and Economic Office (New York) at Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall on 6 February 2014. The conductor went through an intense period of study, working out the technical specifications and playing style of both instruments. The idiomatic styles of playing these instruments connect to a long history of development and evolution. The conductor developed his interpretative approach by relating the knowledge of these drastically different instruments to Tan Dun’s own compositional process and the evolution of this concerto from the original version (1999) and its prior life as the Ghost Opera (1994) for string quartet and Pipa premiered by the Kronos Quartet and Pipa player, Wu Man. The comparison of these two concertos (corrected version, 2013) was made possible for the first time using the same orchestra (Collegium Musicum Hong Kong) in live performances separately with Zheng player, Au Yuen Ying and Pipa player, Zhang Hong Yan. This research process thereby demonstrates how scored musical texts evolve over time and manifest themselves with new meaning and practices when presented in altered contexts and instrumental media.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOther
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Music

User-Defined Keywords

  • Performance
  • Non-traditional Output
  • Artistic Research
  • Practice-led Research
  • Creative Practice
  • Artefacts


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