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Press Release:


Press Release:

Tuesday, 20 January, 2015

Guest Conductor Carolyn Kuan Will Lead the Symphony in Concert

Concert Features U.S. Premiere of Revive, Concerto for Koto and Shakuhachi, by Japanese Composer Yugo Kanno

Winner of the 2015 Celebrate Asia Composition Competition, Xizi, by Chinese Composer Ye Yanchen, will receive World Premiere Performance

On March 1, the Seattle Symphony will present Celebrate Asia at Benaroya Hall. Celebrate Asia honors Seattle’s Asian American community through a concert that explores the rich musical traditions of Asian countries alongside Western classical music. This annual celebration is presented with a myriad of pre- and post-concert activities that reflect various Asian cultures. Now in its seventh year, Celebrate Asia has become an annual tradition where people and families of all ethnicities come to immerse in an afternoon of cultural exchange and vibrant celebration. 

This year’s concert will be guest conducted by Carolyn Kuan, Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. The concert opens with a staple of American film music, Overture to South Pacific by Rodgers and Hammerstein. It is followed by the U.S. premiere of Revive, Concerto for Koto and Shakuhachi, by Japanese composer Yugo Kanno. Revive was written as part of Kanno’s support for the Earthquake Disaster Relief, the composer states the title “expresses the genuine strength of the people in Japan who keep taking firm steps forward to restore our towns and reintegrate our communities.” 

The second half of the concert begins with Slumdog Millionaire, theme song from the acclaimed 2008 drama under the same name that was set and filmed in India. It is followed by a piece by young Chinese composer Ye Yanchen. Yanchen is the winner of the 2015 Seattle Symphony Celebrate Asia Composition Competition (see below for more details). The winning piece, titled Xizi, is a depiction of sacrifice and heartbreak in the lives of traditional Chinese opera performers. “This dynamic and colorful piece illustrates the century-long tradition of Chinese opera and it has impressed the jury with the intensity of expression and clarity of orchestral writing,” says Elena Dubinets, Seattle Symphony’s Vice President of Artistic Planning. The piece will receive its world premiere performance on March 1. The concert concludes with another venerated piece of film music, Crouching Tiger Cello Concerto, Tan Dun’s Oscar-winning score written for the 2000 movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. 

Pre-concert activities will begin in the Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby at 3 p.m. Performers include Indian dancer Sharmista Mitra Dohray, Bellevue Children’s Academy Choir, Northwest Kung Fu Lion Dance, Taiwan Aborigine Dance Group and Western and Asian Instrument Zoo. The celebration concludes post-concert in the Grand Lobby with a performance by One World Taiko and DJ RDX. Admission to both pre- and post-concert activities are included with concert ticket. 

Complete program notes, artist biographies and additional information can be found by visiting 

About Yugo Kanno 

A graduate of the Tokyo College of Music, Yugo Kanno has been active in music production for films, TV dramas, Japanese animes and documentaries. Kanno’s debut commercial composition was for Fuji TV’s 2004 drama Last Christmas. Since then, Kanno has produced music for the blockbuster film SP The Motion Picture (2010) and SP The Motion Picture II (2011), spinoffs of the 2007 TV drama series SP. Later he was involved in several films including The Wings of the Kirin (2012), Hotaru the Movie: It's Only a Little Light in My Life, Bayside Shakedown the Final (2012), Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de (Answer a Riddle After Dinner, 2013) and Manatsu no Hoteishiki (Midsummer’s Equation, 2013). He produced music for dramas in over 40 programs including Last Christmas, Hotaru No Hikari (Firefly Light), Galileo, SP, MR. BRAIN, Fumo Chitai (Wasted Land), Shinzanmono (Newcomer), Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de, Ando Roid ~ A.I. Knows LOVE? ~, Mozu Season 1 - Mozu no Sakebu Yoru, Hanasaki Mai Speaks Out and his most recent work is Hirugao: Love Affairs in the Afternoon. In his 10th year as a composer, Kanno engaged in the 53rd NHK historical Taiga Drama Gunshi Kanbee (Trategist Kanbei), making him one of the leading composers in Japan. 

In addition, Kanno has produced music for news and documentary programs, as well as popular animes that include Toshokan Sensou (Library War), PSYCHO-PASS, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders and Gundam Reconguista in G. He also wrote music for Rain on PlayStation3. 

Kanno won the Movie Music Artist Award at the Japanese Movie Critics Awards and Music Award at the Nippon Theater Staff Film Festival for his work Amalfi: Rewards of the Goddess in 2010. In May 2014 he won the Montyly Galaxy Award as an incidental music composer at Japan Council for Better Radio and Television. For more information visit 

About Ye Yanchen 

Composer Ye Yanchen was born in Chongqing, China. He studied composition with Boris Gezelev at the Nizhny Novgorod State Glinka Conservatory of Music in Russia. Ye is the Gold Prize winner at the third Prokofiev Young Composers Competition. His compositions have also placed in the Chinese Ministry of Culture’s 16th China Music Composition Competition, 2013 U.S. Golden Key International Composition Competition and the second China National Centre for the Performing Arts Young Composers Programme. His works have been performed by the National Ballet of China Symphony Orchestra, National Centre for the Performing Arts Symphony Orchestra and MDR Sinfonieorchester. 

About the Celebrate Asia Composition Competition 

The Seattle Symphony’s Celebrate Asia Composition Competition invites submissions from up-and-coming composers who find inspiration and influences in Asian culture, music and traditions. After receiving numerous local, national and international submissions, the reviewing committee selected Ye Yanchen’s Xizi as the 2015 winner. Xizi was composed in 2013 and will receive its world premiere at the March 1 Celebrate Asia concert. 

About Celebrate Asia 

In partnership with numerous local community groups, the Seattle Symphony honors and celebrates the city’s Asian community with the seventh annual Celebrate Asia concert. The concept originated when local Asian leaders from the region’s Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese communities wanted to find a way to strengthen bonds with the broader community through a cultural celebration. Now in its seventh year, Celebrate Asia has become an annual signature event in Seattle. For more information about Celebrate Asia, visit 

How to Purchase Tickets 

Celebrate Asia tickets are available from $20 to $76. 

Phone: Call the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office at (206) 215-4747 or toll-free at (866) 833-4747. 

Online: Visit to purchase tickets online or use the Seattle Symphony’s iPhone and Android apps. 

In Person: Visit the Ticket Office in Benaroya Hall, located at Third Avenue & Union Street. 

Ticket Office Hours: Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Saturday, 1–6 p.m. 

Group Sales: To purchase tickets for groups of 10 or more, call (206) 215-4784. 

Students/Seniors: Student and senior rush discount tickets, subject to availability, go on sale at the Seattle Symphony Ticket Office two hours prior to matinee performances and at 6pm for evening performances. These must be purchased in person. 

Review Tickets & Photography 

Photography is not allowed in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium without specific permission. To request live photography of the 2015 Celebrate Asia performance including pre- and post-concert events, media should write to You You Xia at High-resolution press photos from the event will be available to media the day after the concert. 


Sunday, March 1, 2015, at 4 p.m. 
Celebrate Asia 

Carolyn Kuan, conductor 
Chiaki Endo, koto 
Dozan Fujiwara, shakuhachi 
Meeka Quan DiLorenzo, cello 
Seattle Symphony 

Overture to South Pacific 

Revive, Concerto for Koto and Shakuhachi 
For Tohoku Tsunami Disaster Relief (U.S. Premiere) 


Slumdog Millionaire 

Xizi (World Premiere) 

Selections from Crouching Tiger Cello Concerto, from the soundtrack to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 
Eternal Vow (mvmt 4) 
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (mvmt 1) 

The Celebrate Asia Composition Competition is underwritten by Yoshi and Naomi Minegishi. 
Yugo Kanno’s work is co-commissioned by the Seattle Symphony and the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. 
Yugo Kanno, Chiaki Endo and Dozan Fujiwara's performances are generously underwritten by Yoshi and Naomi Minegishi, and Ryo and Kanori Kubota. 
The Presenting Sponsors of Celebrate Asia are: JP Morgan Chase & Co. and MulvannyG2 Architecture.
Supporting Sponsors of Celebrate Asia include: Acucela Inc., Delta Air Lines, Bellevue Children’s Academy and the Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation. 
Celebrate Asia is presented as part of the Seattle Symphony’s New Music WORKS initiative, which is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. New Music WORKS features commissions, concerts and educational activities that use composition as a catalyst for collaboration and engagement in music.

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