Chinese composer joins the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for a New Year’s cultural fusion-fest.

Academy and Grammy award-winning composer-conductor Tan Dun will join forces with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra next month to ring in the Year of the Horse with a program designed to highlight the power of both traditional Chinese music and Western classical counterpart.

The aptly titled East meets West concert will celebrate the rich Chinese culture found in Melbourne. “Chinese New Year is an important part of Melbourne’s cultural fabric,” said Managing Director of the MSO, André Gremillet. “We look forward to welcoming the entire Melbourne community to this special concert, one that we hope will become and annual event for our city.”

Two of Tan Dun’s major orchestral works will receive their Australian premieres in the concert celebrating the 2014 Chinese New Year. Also on the program are classics from the Western tradition, including music from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor.

Tan Dun's Concerto for String Orchestra and Pipa is a work inspired by the Chinese 'Ghost Opera' tradition, whereby shamans communicate with spirits from the past and future, establishing dialogues between nature and the human soul. Xie Yudan, a leading virtuoso of traditional Chinese music will feature as soloist.

Triple Resurrection, scored for piano trio and orchestra, is an orchestral drama that celebrates the bicentenary of Wagner’s birth and also completes Dun’s Martial Arts Cycle. The trio will consist of award-winning Chinese-violinist Lu Siqing, Australian-Chinese pianist Adoria Li, and Principal Cellist of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, David Berlin.

The Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in the traditional Chinese calendar. It is a time to be spent with friends and family and many celebrations will be happening around the country to help people celebrate in traditional style. If you’re not able to make it to the MSO’s East Meets West you could see the Shaanxi Folk Cultural Troupe as part of the City of Sydney’s Chinese New Year Festival 2014 or catch up with taiko group Toko-ton at the Brisbane Chinese Lunar New Year Festival.

Tan Dun conducts the MSO at Arts Centre Melbourne on February 7.

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