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Famous Chinese Americans Entertainment: Music

  Who What
Tan Dun

b. 1957, Hunan

World-renowned composer of classical musical that combines traditional Chinese and Western musical elements. He was trained in Peking Opera as well as classical music in both Beijing and NY's Columbia University. His earlier works include Ghost Opera, and the Orchestral Theatre I, Orchestral Theatre II multi-media series. He was commissioned to write Symphony 1997 to commemorate Hong Kong's 1997 return to China. He was also commissioned to write 2000 Today: A World Symphony for the Millennium, which was broadcast by 55 TV networks worldwide on the first day of the new millennium. He wrote the music for Peter Sellars' production of Peony Pavilion (available on CD as Bitter Love). Tan received the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for his opera Marco Polo in 1996. He wrote the score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which won both the Grammy Award and the Academy Award for best film score. His latest work is Water Passion after St. Matthew.

Jon Jang

b. 1954, Los Angeles

Jazz composer, pianist, and bandleader known for his Chinese-influenced jazz music.His compositions often have a social theme: Self Defense! deals with anti-Asian violence,Tiananmen! pays homage to the victims of the 1989 democracy movement, Two Flowers on a Stem refers to the dual Chinese and American heritage, Immigrant Suite, No. 1 is based on collection of poetry scratched on the walls of Angel Island. Jang also composed music for a theatrical adaptation of Maxine Hong Kingston's Woman Warrior.

Lang Lang

b. 1982, Shenyang

World-class pianist. Lang Lang won the first of many piano competitions at the age of 5. He studied at the Central Music Conservatory in Beijing and later at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. He made his Carnegie Hall in 2001 and currently travels frequently to performances worldwide. He also played on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show". His CDs include Lang Lang Live at Carnegie Hall, Tchaikovky, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn: First Piano Concertos, Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3, Scriabin Etudes.
Yo Yo Ma

b. 1955, Paris

World-renowned cellist. He moved to NY to study at Juillard at seven. He first performed at Carnegie Hall when he was nine. Ma has recorded over 50 albums and won fourteen Grammy awards. He performs as a soloist with orchestras around the world, as a chamber musician, and a as a recital performer. He frequently collaborates with other artists with different musical traditions and even different media, producing such works wide-ranging works as Bach: The Cello Suites Inspired By Bach, From The Six-Part Film Series, Appalachian Journey, Soul of the Tango: The Music of Astor Piazzolla, and Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet. Other popular recordings include
Simply Baroque, Simply Baroque II, and Classic Yo-Yo.

Vanessa Mae

b. 1979, Singapore

Violinist with both classical and popular music repertoire. A child prodigy of Chinese and Thai parents, she had toured internationally by twelve and became the youngest person to record the Tchaikovsky and Beethoven Violin Concertos. Her popular music albums, which feature pop/techno/jazz fusion, include The Violin Player and Storm. Her classical recordings include The Classical Album 1, China Girl - The Classical Album 2, The Classical Collection, Part 1, and The Original Four Seasons And The Devil's Trill Sonata.