NYC to welcome ‘Year Of The Monkey’ with Lunar New Year Festival

Fireworks over the Hudson River for the Chinese Lunar New Year on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. (Credit: CBS2)

CBS New York/AP:

 New York City will be celebrating the Lunar New Year with a five-day festival early next month.

The Year of the Monkey Celebration” runs from Feb. 6 through Feb. 10.

The festival, presented by the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, is hosting a myriad of events, including the “The Fantastic Art China” exhibition at the Javits Center, where traditional and contemporary Chinese artworks will be showcased.

Environmental conservation efforts for monkeys in China also will be highlighted.

A Hudson River fireworks display set to the music of Oscar and Grammy Award winner Tan Dun is scheduled for Feb. 6.

The Empire State Building is also planning a light display for Feb. 6 and Feb. 8. And the New York Philharmonic’s 5th Annual Chinese New Year Concert will be held at Lincoln Center on Feb. 9.

Last June, Mayor Bill de Blasio made the Lunar New Year an official public school holiday. An estimated 15 percent of New York City school children celebrate the Lunar New Year.

NYC EVENT – From China to America: A Musical Journey with Tan Dun and Guests

Tan Dun
Beyond Chinatown:

As part of its Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion exhibition, the New-York Historical Society, U.S. China Cultural Institute, and Cultural Associate of the Committee of 100 presents, on January 10, an evening of contemporary classical music by award-winning Chinese and Chinese-American composers.

From China to America: A Musical Journey with Tan Dun and Guests features a performance and discussion by:

Tan Dun (谭盾 / 譚盾), “most widely known for his scores for the movies Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (卧虎藏龙 /臥虎藏龍) and Hero (英雄), as well as composing music for the medal ceremonies at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  His works often incorporate audiovisual elements; use instruments constructed from organic materials, such as paper, water, and stone; and, are often inspired by traditional Chinese theatrical and ritual performance.”

Zhou Long (周龙 / 周龍), a Pulitzer Prize winner who “draws upon influences from both musical spheres to create unique and unheard sounds in Western music circles…[and] has been hailed for capturing Chinese timbres and folk themes, yet incorporating them with Western conceptions of harmony, chromaticism and angularity.  He also frequently takes familiar sounds and tunes, alters them through dissonances and thematic twists, making the familiar seem new and unheard.  Known to sometimes create “otherworldly atmospheres” in his compositions, Zhou Long’s compositions imbue listeners with a sense of meditative calmness versus soporific melodies.  Zhou Long is considered a pioneer in the area of combining ancient Chinese musical traditions with contemporary Western ensembles as his visions reach exciting and novel, yet common grounds.”

Chen Yi (陈怡 / 陳怡), “a Chinese violinist and composer of contemporary classical music.  She was the first Chinese woman to receive a Master of Arts (M.A.) in music composition from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. ”  Chen has won many awards and “was a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her composition Si Ji (Four Seasons)”

Ying Quartet will pay tribute to composer Chou Wen-chung (周文中) who invited the three composers to the United States and Columbia University is credited as being a pioneer in combining Chinese and Western classical music traditions.