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Chinese Musicians Make Breakthroughs with Grammy Nods
    2008-12-06 17:55:44     CRIENGLISH.com

Tan Dun and his Grammy-nominated opera album "The First Emperor" [Photo: sina.com]

Renowned classical musican Tan Dun and four other Chinese musicians were nominated for the 51st Grammy Awards on Friday, setting a record for Chinese musicians with five nominations in one year.

Grammy and Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun received a nomination for Best Opera Recording with "The First Emperor," which he adapted from the original screenplay "Xue Zhu." The musical frontrunner, who has been dedicated to introducing Chinese classical music to the world, said he was "surprised" by the Grammy nomination of his pathbreaking attempt to fuse Peking opera and western opera.

Tan won his first Grammy in 2002 for his soundtrack for the Oscar-winning movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

For the third time Xiao Qingyang received a Grammy nomination for the Best Album Cover Design award for his design for a poem recitation album, following two previous nominations in the same category in 2005 and 2007.

Three other Chinese musicians were nominated for the Best Instrumental Soloist Performance award, including Li Wei, who plays the the traditional Chinese stringed instrument gungzhen, pianist Gloria Cheng, famous for her modern piano music, and pipa instrumentalist Wu Man, who performed at the White House at the invitation of former U.S. president Bill Clinton in 1999.

Previously, Chinese artists had received their largest number of Grammy nominations in 2002 when three musicians, including Tan Dun, were nominated for different classical categories -- at the time a groundbreaking feat for Chinese musicians.

In 2005, violinist-cellist Ma Youyou, one of the best known classical Chinese musicians, won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition. Song Zuying, the country's most acclaimed folk singer, received a Grammy nomination for Best Classical Crossover Album in 2007. Young pianist Lang Lang, who is popular with international audiences, received a nomination for Best Musical Performance in 2008.

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