East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet? Try telling that to Tan Dun, who has made a career merging the traditions as well as the sonorities of his native China and the western symphony orchestra. Besides the Oscar-winning score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (produced in a mere two weeks), Tan’s catalogue includes such curiosa as Water Passion After St. Matthew, and the operas Marco Polo (American premiere by the New York City Opera) and The First Emperor (world premiere by the Met). His recent Buddha Passion, sung in Chinese and Sanskrit by singers schooled in Chinese techniques, is said to harken to the Passion settings of Johann Sebastian Bach. —M.G.
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