The NY Phil might be on its way to Asia right now, but they brought a bit of the Pacific Rim to Lincoln Center on Saturday with their third annual Chinese New Year Celebration. In the afternoon there was Chinese dancing and music on the Josie Robertson Plaza, with children from the National Dance Institute and the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company performing traditional Ribbon and Dragon dances. The event attracted a healthy crowd of onlookers, including a few dozen operagoers who watched from the balcony of the Met during intermission.
Later that night, the Philharmonic—fresh from their Young People's Concert earlier in the day—played a wide-ranging concert that featured Chinese soloists and folk singers conducted by Long Yu, who seems to have avoided getting into any streetfights this time around. The most interesting part of the program was the U.S. premiere of Tan Dun's Triple Resurrection: a triple concerto for violin, cello, and piano, played here by Cho-Liang Lin, Jian Wang, and Yuja Wang, respectively. Dun wrote Triple Resurrection last year in honor of Wagner's 200th birthday, with near-verbatim quotes from Das Rheingold while also lifting heavily from his own scores to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero. But, while Dun's music flirts with greatness—including startling innovations like the amplified sound of rushing water—in the end he couldn't resist his showier instincts, with a schmaltzy build in the strings that should have been left in Hollywood.
The rest of the program featured each of the three guest artists performing Euro-Romantic music with the Phil: Yuja Wang played Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Jian Wang performed Tchiakovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, and Lin played Dvorak's Romance in F minor. The evening ended with a performance by Chinese folk/pop star Song Zuying, but I wasn't around at that point to hear it. (Apparently, Tony was.)
More pics on the photo page.