Press Releases

The Orchestra Now presents An Afternoon at the Aviary led by guest conductor Tan Dun at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater on Sunday, May 21

Program Features Two Works by Tan Dun with Soloists Yida An, Violin; and TŌN alum Milad Daniari, Bass

New York, New York, April 24, 2023 Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer and conductor Tan Dun returns to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater to lead TŌN in An Afternoon at the Aviary, the Orchestra’s last performance in New York City this season, on Sunday, May 21 at 3 PM. The bird-themed program includes two of Dun’s own works: Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds and Contrabass Concerto: Wolf Totem; as well as Dinicu’s The Lark and Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite.

Tan Dun Conducts: An Afternoon at the Aviary
Sunday, May 21, 2023 at 3 PM
Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall
Tan Dunconductor
Yida An, violin
Milad Daniari, bass

Grigoraș Dinicu: Ciocârlia (The Lark)
Tan Dun: Contrabass Concerto: Wolf Totem
Tan Dun: Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds
Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite

Romanian violin virtuoso and composer Grigoraş Ionică Dinicu’s spectacular Ciocârlia (The Lark) opens the concert. Based on a Romanian folk music tune supposedly composed by his grandfather Angheluș Dinicu for the pan flute, the virtuosic work is a soloist showpiece, performed by violinist Yida An, a 2024 graduate of Bard Conservatory’s Graduate Instrumental Arts Program. Tan Dun’s Contrabass Concerto: Wolf Totem, was inspired by the Chinese novel Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong, which describes the dying culture of the Mongols. The symbol of the Mongolian wolf—represented by the bass—and its life in the grasslands mirrored for the composer the human spirit and our relationship to the natural world. Bassist Milad Daniari, a graduate of TŌN’s inaugural class, is featured. Tan Dun’s second work on the program, Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds, was commissioned by Carnegie Hall in 2015 for the National Youth Orchestra of the USA and draws on both Eastern and Western musical forms. The work incorporates sounds of nature with those digitally recorded and played on smartphones, turning the devices into instruments that reflect on modern life. The afternoon closes with Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite, a ballet and orchestral concert work commissioned by ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev for the 1920 season of his Ballets Russes. The plot tells the story of an evil ogre’s defeat through the intervention of the Firebird, a miraculous creature from Russian fairytales. The work’s premiere brought the relatively unknown Stravinsky to international acclaim. 

Tickets priced at $25–$50 are available online at, by calling CenterCharge at 212.721.6500, or at the Jazz at Lincoln Center box office at Broadway & 60th, Ground Floor. Ticket holders will need to comply with the venue’s health and safety requirements, which can be found here.

The Orchestra Now
The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is a group of 54 vibrant young musicians from 13 different countries across the globe: Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States. All share a mission to make orchestral music relevant to 21st-century audiences by sharing their unique personal insights in a welcoming environment. Hand-picked from the world’s leading conservatories—including the Yale School of Music, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Royal Academy of Music, and the New England Conservatory of Music—the members of TŌN are enlightening curious minds by giving on-stage introductions and demonstrations, writing concert notes from the musicians’ perspective, and having one-on-one discussions with patrons during intermissions.

Conductor, educator, and music historian Leon Botstein, whom The New York Times said “draws rich, expressive playing from the orchestra,” founded TŌN in 2015 as a graduate program at Bard College, where he is also president. TŌN offers both a three-year master’s degree in Curatorial, Critical, and Performance Studies and a two-year advanced certificate in Orchestra Studies. The Orchestra’s home base is the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center at Bard, where it performs multiple concerts each season and takes part in the annual Bard Music Festival. It also performs regularly at the finest venues in New York, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and others across NYC and beyond. HuffPost, who has called TŌN’s performances “dramatic and intense,” praises these concerts as “an opportunity to see talented musicians early in their careers.”

The Orchestra has performed with many distinguished guest conductors and soloists, including Leonard Slatkin, Neeme Järvi, Gil Shaham, Fabio Luisi, Vadim Repin, Hans Graf, Peter Serkin, Gerard Schwarz, Tan Dun, and JoAnn Falletta. Recordings featuring The Orchestra Now include two albums of piano concertos with Piers Lane on Hyperion Records, and a Sorel Classics concert recording of pianist Anna Shelest performing works by Anton Rubinstein with TŌN and conductor Neeme Järvi. Buried Alive with baritone Michael Nagy, released on Bridge Records in August 2020, includes the first recording in almost 60 years—and only the second recording ever—of Othmar Schoeck’s song-cycle Lebendig begraben. Recent releases include an album of piano concertos with Orion Weiss on Bridge Records, and the soundtrack to the motion picture Forte. Recordings of TŌN’s live concerts from the Fisher Center can be heard on Classical WMHT-FM and WWFM The Classical Network, and are featured regularly on Performance Today, broadcast nationwide.

For upcoming activities and more detailed information about the musicians, visit

Press Contacts
Pascal Nadon
Pascal Nadon Communications
Phone: 646.234.7088
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Mark Primoff
Associate Vice President of Communications
Bard College
Phone: 845.758.7412
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