East meets West with our final Delta | Masterworks program of the season. Tan Dun’s Buddha Passion is the first of its kind in a centuries-old tradition: a passion not inspired by a Christian narrative but rather, a Buddhist one. Stirred by the city of Dunhuang and its ancient caves, Tan Dun created a powerful score that weaves chants, stories and sounds into a breathtaking vocal masterpiece, capturing the Buddha’s teachings and timeless universal concepts of love, forgiveness, sacrifice and salvation.
Music Director of the Seattle Symphony, Danish conductor Thomas Dausgaard is esteemed for his creativity and innovative programming, the excitement of his live performances and his extensive catalogue of critically acclaimed recordings. A renowned recording artist with over 70 discs to his name, Dausgaard’s releases with the Seattle Symphony have garnered critical acclaim resulting in international honors including Gramophone’s 2018 Orchestra of the Year Award and a Grammy nomination for Best Orchestral Performance.
The Chinese soprano Sen Guo was born in Shanxi, China. She studied at the conservatory in Shanghai. After finishing her bachelor's degree with Professor Ruo Liu, she studied under renowed soprano Professor Zhou Xiao Yan at the Opera Center, and then finished her master's degree with Professor laszro Polgar at Zurich Music College. She has gone on to become an esteemed soloist with the Zurich Opera.
Huiling Zhu is a winner of the Elisa-Meyer Vocal Competition and the Timmendorfer Strand Music Festival Singing Competition in Germany, and the Nagasaki Music Competition in Japan. Since 2008, Ms. Huiling Zhu has been the artistic director of the charitable foundation Stiftung Chinesische Nachwuchskünstler e. V. Hamburg (Germany).
Featured on the cover of Opera News as one of “opera’s exciting new voices,” Chinese baritone Yunpeng Wang is quickly gaining international recognition on both the opera and concert stages around the world. A graduate of Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and The Manhattan School of Music, Wang first rose to international attention after winning three different prizes at Plácido Domingo’s 2012 Operalia Competition. Same year, he entered the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. In 2017, he was awarded the Martin E. Segal award at Lincoln Center by the Metropolitan Opera. Most recently, Wang was invited to sing the title role of Tan Dun’s Dunhuang epic Buddha Passion in its Chinese premiere with the Orchestre National de Lyon under Tan Dun’s baton. In the 2019–2020 season, Wang will make his LA Opera debut as the title role of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande.
Tan Weiwei also known as Sitar Tan, is a Chinese singer and actress. She was the runner-up of the third season (2006) of Super Girl, a singing contest in China. In 2015, she participated I Am a Singer (season 3). Tan Weiwei was born in Fushun County, Zigong, Sichuan province. When she was 19, she entered the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, where many the biggest names of the mainland Chinese Mandopop singer had been trained. Although her marks were not very high, she managed to improve her vocal technique thanks to Lanka Dolma, a Chinese vocal trainer of Tibetan ethnicity, who discovered the hidden talent of the young singer. Thanks to Lanka Dolma, she learned many traditional singing techniques which nowadays, Tan uses in her recordings.
Batubagen is the khoomei overtone vocalist and morin khuur player of Hanggai Band since 2006, which makes him one of the earliest members of the band. Batubagen grew up in Inner Mongolia’s Bairin region and became interested in khoomei overtone singing at an early age when he was still involved in sheep farming. Later he furthered his studies with khoomei master Aodusurong and has since been performing with Hanggai Band. Batubagen is the only morin khuur player in the band and is the main vocalist as well who uses the khoomei overtone singing technique. His sturdy timbre is exhibited in his lower register, which forms the unique sound of Hanggai Band.
Enrolled in the Beijing Dance Academy in 2016, Chen Yining has studied music and dance since she was young. From 2010 to 2016, she studied in the Middle School Affiliated with the Beijing Dance Academy. While a student there, she took part in the dance drama The Book of Songs by China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater, and was lauded for her performance on China Arts. In 2017, she won the First Prize in the Fifteenth Beijing Dance Competition. Her original choreography includes The Swordwoman, Nezha and Chasing Dream.
The Seattle Symphony Chorale serves as the official chorus of the Seattle Symphony. Over its past four decades, the Chorale has grown in artistry and stature, establishing itself as a highly respected ensemble.
The Northwest Boychoir’s musical sophistication, rich tonal quality, and dedication to exacting performance have established its reputation as one of the nation’s premier boychoirs.
Led by Music Director Thomas Dausgaard, the Seattle Symphony unleashes the power of music, brings people together and lifts the human spirit. Recognized as one of the “most vital American orchestras” (NPR), the Seattle Symphony is internationally acclaimed for its inventive programming, community-minded initiatives and superb recordings on the Seattle Symphony Media label.
Thomas Dausgaard’s performances are sponsored by the Scan|Design Foundation by Inger and Jens Bruun. Performances of Tan Dun: Buddha Passion are generously underwritten by Jeff and Rita Xiong.