"Staggering mastery": Jörgen van Rijen's world premiere of Tan Dun's "Three Muses in Video Games" receives outstanding reviews

12 November 2021

On 5 November, trombone virtuoso Jörgen van Rijen gave the world premiere of Tan Dun's trombone concerto "Three Muses in Video Game" commissioned for him at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam with the Concertgebouworkest conducted by Shiyeon Sung. The work is an exploration of videogame soundtracks and was described as "...harmonious beauty in which so much happens that it is hard to comprehend in one sitting."

Both the work and van Rijen's performance were celebrated with outstanding reviews.

“From rough, raspy trills to sensual glissandi, from cascades of full staccati that were delivered with the precision of a machine gun to beautifully lyrical, long cantabile lines. That’s what van Rijen does like none other – he sings on the trombone even in the very highest registers. (...) The fantastic solo cadence that Tan Dun devised (…) was executed daringly and masterfully by van Rijen.” - Peter van der Lint, Trouw ****

“…during the solo in the second movement, van Rijen’s staggering mastery becomes evident.” - Rahul Gandolahage, NRC Handelsblad*****

“His (Tan Dun’s) video game heroes, the “muses”, three ancient Chinese instruments, are masterfully summoned by solo trombonist Jörgen van Rijen. He is able to manipulate the sound of his instrument subtly but effectively, sounds like a bili (reed instrument) in one moment, and a xiqin (a two-stringed, bowed instrument) the next moment.”
- Rick van Veldhuizen, De Volkskrant*****

View All

Next Article