Su Lian Tan

News


August 2016

Carol Wincenc, John McDonald and Su have been invited to perform
at the National Flute Association Convention at San Diego.

The trio will present the world premier of Altogether Now,
composed for them by John McDonald.

Carol and John will perform the U.S. premier of the arrangement of Autumn Lute-Song for flute and piano, newly published by Theodore Presser.

The trio will be signing scores and CDs at Flute World and Theodore Presser.

View event poster

11 August 2016 — San Diego

July 2016

Revelations for Piano Quintet is now avaialable from ECS Publishing.

29 July, 2016


Bio

Su Lian Tan is a much sought after flutist and composer. Her music has been described as “the stunner of the evening,” (Washington Post) and “...refined, cultured compositions… Rewarding for everyone...” “far and away my favorite…a must- own for flutists and flute enthusiasts..” (Fanfare Magazine), “it is simply gorgeous…so original” ( Carol Wincenc, flutist). Making her first recordings at the age of 14, she has recently been featured in Flute Talk and released a CD featuring her performances of new works dedicated to her, Grand Theft and other Felonies (ARSIS Audio). Superstar Carol Wincenc performs her Autumn Lute- Song as a finale to the program. Ms. Tan has been commissioned by groups such as the Grammy-winning Takacs String Quartet, Da Capo Chamber Players, and the Vermont Symphony. Another recent release Music by Su Lian Tan (ARSIS) contains Jamaica’s Songs, written in collaboration with author Jamaica Kincaid. Her intermedia chamber opera Lotus Lives was performed to great acclaim in the last two seasons. Upcoming premiers of commissioned works includes a piano quintet for Sophie Shao, cellist, and concerti for virtuosi Joe Burgstaller, trumpet, and Darrett Adkins, cellist. A current recording project features the Jupiter String Quartet and Bruce Brubaker. Her music is published by ECS Publishing and Theodore Presser.

Also a dedicated teacher, Ms. Tan is Professor of Music at Middlebury College, where she continues to mentor talented young musicians. This season and next, she will perform, give master classes and guest lectures at several venues including the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore and Oberlin College, Ohio. She has received numerous accolades and citations for teaching as well as for her music, including awards from ASCAP and the Naumburg Foundation. She holds degrees from the Trinity College, London (F.T.C.L.), Bennington College (B.A.), The Juilliard School (M.M.) and Princeton University (Ph.D.).

View Su Lian Tan's CV

Composer

Recent Works

Ming (Brush Strokes)

Trumpet virtuoso Joe Burgstaller performed the world premier of Ming (Brush Strokes), by Su Lian Tan, on 27 October 2012 at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, Singapore.

".... A highlight was the world premiere of Malaysian-American composer Su Lian Tan's Ming, an evocation of Chinese brush-painted landscapes, its placid waters, gnarled trees, rugged mountains and soaring birds. Partnered by pianist LowShao Suan, this atmospheric score ambled from impressionistic half-lights to a Messiaen-like timeless calm. Burgstaller's part used the mute liberally, totemper the bluesy timbre before going full voice on a song." — The Straits Times, Singapore 28 Oct 2012


Lotus Lives

Lotus Lives is a chamber opera by Su Lian Tan, with visual projections by Tim Bartlett and libretto by Anne Babson.

"Lotus Lives is a chamber opera, for two voices and brass ensemble, that brings a fascinating juxtaposition of chronologies, an exploration of themes of growth and discovery, and the crossing and interpenetration of cultures, all accompanied by a dazzling display of electronic staging." —Nicholas Clifford, Middlebury College

"..about Lotus Lives by Su Lian Tan. The subject of a Chinese American woman exploring her heritage was very compelling. I also thought this was a beautiful production, and I especially responded to the video/projection design and the way the show played with shadow puppetry. The piece (and Tan herself) feels so ambitious, and I'm glad she's been brought to my attention." —Oskar Eustis, artistic director, Public Theater, NYC

The Middlebury premeire is discussed in The Rutland Herald, The Addison Eagle, and The Addison Independent.

The development of Lotus Lives received funding from OPERA America's Opera Grants for Female Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.


Recordings

Music by Su Lian Tan

Featuring Jamaica's Songs, U-Don Rock, and River of the Trunk

Jamaica Kincaid & John Elder, Readers

Read an article on and review of this CD by Barnaby Rayfield that appeared in Fanfare.

View on Arsis Audio


License to Thrill

Featuring Ming by Su Lian Tan, performed by Joe Burgstaller

"Su Lian Tan is simply one of my favorite composers... Su's music is that very rare combination of beauty, accessibility, sophistication, surprise, real depth, provocativeness and most of all, connection to the listener's soul... To my ears, Ming is unparalleled in the trumpet repertoire. — Joe Burgstaller

Read Joe Burgstaller's full comments on Ming here.

View on Amazon

Praise for Su Lian Tan's Music

Life in Wayang

"The stunner of the evening was Su Lian Tan’s Life In Wayang composed last year, a work that comes out saying something you’d like to hear again... Tan interweaves a subtle sonic texture combining Asian micro intervals and melodic fragments anchored in a neo-neoromantic atonality that unfolds in indulgent textures." —The Washington Post

"The piece is attractive, at times rather romantic and through the performance reveals a rising musical power, like a locomotive gathering steam." —St Louis Post Dispatch

By Leaps and Bounds

"Particularly alluring... began in an angular Western style with a balance of vehemence and serenity. But near the end... hints of gamelan melodies illuminating both instrumental lines." —The New York Times

"...the stern post-Webernisms are gradually softened by the comforting sounds of gamelan music." —New York Magazine

"...engrossing. The composer evokes her native Malaysia in a sparse dialogue, with single notes calling back and for the to one another between the two instruments." —San Francisco Chronicle

Autumn Lute Song

"Although Dvorak and Mozart are among the most popular works in the orchestral repertoire, ...Tan's Autumn Lute Song...particularly attractive, combining elements of Oriental, avant-garde and French music. Autumn Lute Song has the spice of today's classical music, but is written in such a light manner that it positively sparkles." —The Times Argus

"a crystal-like evocation of autumn...began in a serene meditation...filling a whole sky with the memory of creation..." —The Rutland Gazette

"transparent...an overall shimmering quality. It is playful at times, and at others rather terse. It can drift along lazily then shift into motor driven propulsion." —The Daily Gazette

Jamaica's Songs

"The music is powerful and the emotions very direct, though at times painful. This is a major and substantial work." —Burlington Free Press

"They're sublime. You forget the words are separate from the music. When I listen to them I forget I wrote the words." —Jamaica Kincaid

Invention and Sinfonia

"...it took us from it minimalist beginnings through several centuries of different styles….strong and commanding." —The Bennington Banner


Complete Works

View a complete list of Su Lian Tan's Original Works

Flutist

Recordings

Grand Theft and other Felonies

Music by Su Lian Tan, Peter Hamlin, Mary Montgomery Koppel, Matthew LaRocca, and John McDonald

Hailed by Fanfare magazine as "a must-own for flutists and flute enthusiasts" Su Lian Tan's new CD release, Grand Theft and other Felonies (ARSIS Audio) has been garnering attention. On 8 August '13 her performance of Grand Theft Flauto by Peter Hamlin with the composer at the National Flute Association Convention in NOLA was not only in the company of international stars of the flute, but made an inspiring impact on students and teachers too. Superstar flutist Carol Wincenc performs Tan's Autumn Lute Song as a conclusion to the program of the disc. At the convention, Flute World invited Tan and Wincenc to commemorate the new release in two sessions of CD signings.

View on Arsis Audio


Media

Read an interview with Su and a review of Grand Theft and Other Felonies by David DeBoor Canfield that appeared in Fanfare.

Performing with Carol Wincenc. Photo by Scott Bump.

Educator

Su Lian Tan is Professor of Music at Middlebury College, where she continues to mentor talented young musicians. This season and next, she will perform, give master classes and guest lectures at several venues including the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore and Oberlin College, Ohio. She has received numerous accolades and citations for teaching as well as for her music, including awards from ASCAP and the Naumburg Foundation. She holds degrees from the Trinity College, London (F.T.C.L.), Bennington College (B.A.), The Juilliard School (M.M.) and Princeton University (Ph.D.).