I. Opening (full work below)
The Grand Canal performed during a nationally televised celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. © Photo: Zhejiang Daily
I. OPENING (序): a celebratory fanfare (with optional choir)
II. BEGINNING OF A DREAM (梦源): featuring a Chinese opera singer and narrator in the style of Yue Ju, accompanied by erhu and orchestra (with optional choir)
III. SPIRIT (河魂): literary “River Soul,” a symphonic dance.
IV(a). LIFE（生命）: a hymn of lives along the Grand Canal. (Choir required. Omitted in the orchestra-only version)
IV. MOTHER (母亲): the Grand Canal is known to the Chinese as the “mother river.” This slow movement contains melodies that were inspired by traditional Chinese music, featuring a Chinese opera singer and the erhu. (With optional choir)
V. RHYTHM (水韵)：a rondo that beginnings with three soloists – the ruan, violin and cello—and develops into a full orchestra setting, all based on a distinctive Chinese rhythm. (With optional choir)
VI. THE GRAND CANAL (运河): a culmination of previous materials into a grand summary. (With optional choir)
Composer Zhou Tian, Music Director Rossen Milanov, and Caroline Harris of Princeton University Art Museum at the pre-concert talk of Princeton Symphony's 2012-13 Season Opening Concert.
The US Premiere of The Grand Canal by Princeton Symphony conducted by Rossen Milanov
© Copyright Zhou Tian / Zhou Tian Music
The Grand Canal (2008)
Commissioned by Hangzhou Federation of Literary and Art Circles
For Erhu, Ruan, Chinese opera singer, (Mixed Chorus), and Orchestra
30 minutes (scoring 1)
35 minutes (scoring 2)
4331/timp/4 perc/hp/pno/erhu (Chinese violin)/ruan (Chinese lute)/Chinese opera singer/str
4331/timp/4 perc/hp/pno/erhu (Chinese violin)/ruan (Chinese lute)/Chinese opera singer/SATB chorus/str
Premiere: 26 September - 1 October 2009, performed in nationally televised celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra
Yang Yang, conductor
US Premiere: 7 October 2012, Richardson Auditorium, Princeton, NJ.
Princeton Symphony Orchestra
Rossen Milanov, conductor