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Hong Kong Symphony

Tan Dun's "Symphony 1997" premieres as Hong Kong switches from British to Chinese rule.

A printer-friendly version of this page 57 minutes
Directed by Larry Weinstein
Produced by Rhombus Media
Featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Tan Dun, and the Bianzhong.

HONG KONG SYMPHONY documents the dramatic premiere of Tan Dun's Symphony 1997: Heaven-Earth-Mankind at the historic ceremonies marking the handover of Hong Kong from British to Chinese rule on June 30, 1997. Featured are Tan Dun, the dynamic young Chinese composer/conductor, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and the 2,400-year-old Bianzhong, a magnificent set of 64 bells that was recently unearthed from a royal tomb in Hubei, China.

The film captures the frantic energy of the handover through on-the-street interviews and backstage verité news coverage from Hong Kong, China, Britain and the US, and historical footage. The program also reveals the personal meditations of Tan Dun and Yo-Yo Ma, as these remarkable artists--and the magnificent music they create--offer fascinating counterpoint to the "official" versions of this historical moment.

Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1998     Copyright Date: 1997
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-957-7     VHS ISBN: 1-56029-780-8

"Presents some intriguing larger questions...Can composers work effectively in a political arena?...The film is recommended for libraries with collection interests in political science, Asian studies, broadcast journalism, and music. "
Richard McRae, University at Buffalo Music Library, MC Journal

"Will prove of great interest for viewers with an interest in Chinese history, international relations, and ceremonial music performances."
Wisconsin Bookwatch

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Hong Kong Symphony

"Of great interest for viewers with an interest in Chinese history, international relations, and ceremonial music performances." Wisconsin Bookwatch

Awards and Festivals
Gold Apple, National Educational Media Network
Chris Award, Columbus International Film & Video Festival
Nominations, Gemini Awards

Asian Studies
Hong Kong
International Studies
Pacific Studies
Performing Arts
Social Psychology

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