Tan Dun (Chinese: 谭盾; pinyin: Tán Dùn, Mandarin pronunciation: [tʰǎn tu̯ə̂n]) is a Chinese-born American composer and conductor. A leading figure of contemporary classical music, he draws from a variety of Western and Chinese influences, a dichotomy which has shaped much of his life and music. Having collaborated with leading orchestras around the world, Tan is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Grawemeyer Award for his opera Marco Polo (1996) and both an Academy Award and Grammy Award for his film score in Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000). His oeuvre as a whole includes operas, orchestral, vocal, chamber, solo and film scores, as well as genres that Tan terms "organic music" and "music ritual." Born in Hunan, China, Tan grew up during the Cultural Revolution and received musical education from the Central Conservatory of Music. His early influences included both Chinese music and 20th-century classical music. Since receiving a DMA from Columbia University in 1993, Tan has been based in New York City. His compositions often incorporate audiovisual elements; use instruments constructed from organic materials, such as paper, water, and stone; and are often inspired by traditional Chinese theatrical and ritual performance. In 2013, he was named a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.
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