Tan Dun's elaborate compositions were once quoted by the late Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu as being "violent as a burst of human blood, yet full of grace, a voice of the soul." A well-respected avant-garde world music composer, Dun's ethereal compositions have been recognized through a series of international awards. The winner of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for music composition, Dun graduated from Beijing's Central Conservatory and Columbia University in New York and began his career in the Peking Opera after planting rice for two years during the Cultural Revolution. His imaginative and textural compositions have earned him the respect of music lovers worldwide, hurdling cultural barriers with a unique fusion of Eastern and Western sensibilities. Named musician of the year in 1997 by the New York Times, Dun's first film score was for 1988's Pickles Make Me Cry, followed a decade later by the Denzel Washington supernatural thriller Fallen (1998), and later the same year with his composition for the documentary In the Name of the Emperor. In 2001 Dun expanded his cinematic career by becoming a multiple Academy award nominee -- both for Best Music, Original Score, and Best Music, Song -- for his sweeping contributions to the phenomenally successful Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. When Academy Award frenzy subsided, Dun came out a winner, walking away with the Oscar for Best Music.