Crossing Borders in Performance V: Margaret Leng Tan – East-West Encounters, the Concert Piano Re-Imagined


Saturday, March 28, 2015
8:00 pm


A- MLT-Jim_Webpage versionMARGARET LENG TAN

piano, toy piano, toy instruments, voice

In EAST-WEST ENCOUNTERS: The Concert Piano Re-imagined, renowned Singaporean pianist/toy pianist, Margaret Leng Tan, performs Chinese and cross-cultural works in collaboration with the Chinese Mojo series exhibited by Chinese American artist, Bibiana Huang Matheis.

Margaret Leng Tan has established herself as a major force within the American avant-garde; a highly visible, talented and visionary pianist whose work sidesteps perceived artificial boundaries within the usual concert experience and creates a new level of communication with listeners. Embracing aspects of theater, choreography, performance and even “props” such as the teapot she “plays” in Alvin Lucier’s Nothing is Real, Tan has brought to the avant-garde, a measure of good old-fashioned showmanship tempered with a disciplinary rigor inherited from her mentor John Cage.

Besides pianos large and little, Tan combines a plethora of toy instruments in feats of multi-tasking virtuosity. She offers fresh insights into traditional Chinese music with Australian-American composer Erik Griswold’s strangely authentic-sounding, prepared piano arrangements of Sichuan folksongs as well as Shanghai composer Ge Gan-ru’s Beijing opera-inspired Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!, a melodrama for Tan’s voice self-accompanied by a 17-piece toy orchestra. Young Taiwanese composer Ying-an Lin’s Drunkard’s Dance is a duet for toy piano and tin can, instruments also featured in US composer Guy Klucevsek’s Sweet Chinoiserie along with toy accordion, melodica and kitchen percussion.

A highlight will be When the Canary Sings, a visual tapestry of the” Chinese Mojo” series by Bibiana Huang Matheis, accompanied by John Cage’s idyllic In a Landscape.

David Wolfson’s Twinkle Dammit! (which pokes fun at the torturous piano lessons of Tan and Huang’s Asian childhood) and toy piano selections by Phyllis Chen (USA), Lee Hye Kyung (Korea), and Yuichi Matsumoto (Japan) complete the program.

There will be a post-concert conversation between Ms. Tan and Ms. Huang Matheis and Author Illustrator Ed Young.

Crossing Borders in Performance is made possible with support from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency. 

This event is part of ARTSEE, a festival showcasing new works of art throughout Westchester County in celebration of ArtsWestchester’s 50th anniversary.

Event Location and Ticket Information

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31 Mamaroneck Ave
White Plains, NY 10601
Handicap Accessible? Yes

Date: Saturday, March 28, 2015
Times: 8:00 pm

Ticket pricing:

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20.00 - General Admission
15.00 - ArtsW Member
15.00 - Student

Presenter: ArtsWestchester
Presenter Phone: 914-428-4220 x 330
Presenter Website:

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