Get ready for a treat when the L.A. Phil, under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach, presents the U.S. premiere of extraordinary Chinese composer Tan Dun's new percussion concerto, The Tears of Nature,
featuring percussion wizard Martin Grubinger. At 29, and looking about 16, the Austrian-born Grubinger can, to quote the critics, "make a drum sing." There's no percussion instrument in the world that he can't play and can't take to exciting new levels. No wonder Dun has long worshipped Grubinger's talents, collaborating with him on different projects and writing The Tears of Nature
expressly for him. "This piece is not only written as an admiration of such a fine artist," Dun says, "but as a duet between us." A lover of nature since his childhood days in rural China, Dun ingeniously re-creates its sounds with whatever is at his disposal. The Tears of Nature
, for instance, employs everything from bamboo chimes and nipple gongs to brake drums, cans, stones, woodblocks and a rain stick. The piece, Dun says, is an ode to both nature's beauty and its fragility. "Throughout the music, nature's tears tell us that the threat to our survival is ourselves." Also on the program is Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 4-5, 9 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 6, 2 p.m.; $23.75-$187. (323) 850-2000, laphil.com.
Fri., Jan. 4, 8 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 5, 8 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 6, 2 p.m., 2013