Skip to main content
Photo: Natalie Greppi

Snow in June

Culture and languages

Concerto for cello and percussion by Tan Dun.

2 Jun 2021
18:00 - 18:30
Stream on YouTube

Academy of Music and Drama

The concert will be streamed via YouTube.


Cello: Miguel Sánchez Rebollar
Percussion: Rasmus Osbeck, Lauren O’Malley, Benjamin Sandberg, Lucia Silva
Conductor: Roger Carlsson

Snow in June

The image of “Snow in June” comes from the 13th-century Chinese drama by Kuan Han-Ching; in it a young woman, Dou Eh, is executed for crimes she did not commit. Even nature cries out for her innocence: her blood does not fall to earth, but flies upward; a heavy snow falls in June; and a drought descends for three years. Tan Dun's "Elegy: Snow in June" likewise sings of pity and purity, beauty and darkness, and is a lament for victims everywhere.

The work is a set of free variations. Beginning with fragmentary phrases, the piece builds to a complete thematic statement in the middle, then disperses again. The voice of the cello both opposes and joins four groups of percussion; here, the cello confronts the sounds of tearing paper, the roughness of stones and cans.

The cello and percussion writing in Elegy is at once complex and very idiomatic of Tan Dun's work. For his unique approach to instrumental writing focuses on the sound textures and fiddling techniques found in Chinese ritual music and folk opera, familiar to Tan Dun from his own experiences growing up in China.

–Tan Dun