A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Don’t miss one of the most talked-about concerts in the history of the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Water becomes an extraordinary and transformative musical instrument taking center stage as it flows, drips, gurgles, splashes, bubbles and crashes to create a staggering array of percussive sounds when the Los Angeles Master Chorale, conducted by Artistic Director Grant Gershon, presents Oscar and Grammy® Award-winning composer Tan Dun’s (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) riveting Water Passion After St. Matthew, “a masterpiece for the ages” (AllMusic), on Saturday, April 11, at 2 p.m., and Sunday, April 12, at 7 p.m., at Disney Hall.

Culture Spot LA readers can win a pair of tickets to the Saturday concert by sending an email to editor@culturespotla.com with LAMC in the subject line.

Written for choir, soprano and bass soloists, chamber ensemble and 10 illuminated water bowls, the piece features moments of shattering intensity and frenzy contrasted by silence and stillness. Whispers, shouts, chants, laughter, Mongolian overtone singing and the high-pitched Eastern Opera vocal traditions emerge from the chorus while the singers “play” Tibetan finger bells and river stones and rattle ominous thunder sheets. Featured guest artists include Delaram Kamareh, soprano; Stephen Bryant, bass; Shalini Vijayan, violin; Cécilia Tsan, cello; David Cossin, lead percussion; and Yuanlin Chen, digital sampler.

The Chorale gave the work’s LA premiere in 2005, which was praised as “splendid and adventurous” (Variety). Commissioned by Helmuth Rilling for the 250th anniversary of the death of J.S. Bach, whose seminal works include the St. Matthew Passion, Tan Dun’s piece “plays with watery symbols of baptism, creation and rebirth” (Newsday). It is also drenched with metaphysical metaphors for cleansing and renewal that recall ancient Chinese water rituals from the village where Tan Dun was raised.

Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 S. Grand Ave. at First Street in downtown Los Angeles. Tickets range from $29 – $129. Group rates are available. For tickets and information, please call (213) 972-7282, or visit www.lamc.org. (Tickets cannot be purchased at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office except on concert days starting two hours prior to the performance.) ListenUp! pre-concert talk one hour prior to curtain.