Margaret Leng Tan

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Margaret Leng Tan and John Cage

Designed to compliment the John Cage exhibition, Every Day is a Good Day in Gallery 1, a nod to Cage is a season of art and sound installations and live events featuring some of the best exponents of John Cage’s philosophy. 

Margaret Leng Tan will present Through the Silence, a full programme representing the diversity of Cage's oeuvre over three decades, using piano, prepared piano, string piano and toy piano. Through this performance, Tan highlight the relationship between the musical and visual art of Cage’s scores.

Works in the programme include Bacchanale (Cage’s first piece for prepared piano), two of his seminal works 4’33” (silence) and the theater piece Water Music, Chess Pieces, which is the music contained in the 1944 Cage painting of that name that Margaret Leng Tan transcribed. Leng Tan will also perform In the Name of the Holocaust for string piano, the Suite for Toy Piano and Etude Australes, a piece that derives from star maps. 

Tan collaborated with Cage between 1981 up until his death in 1992, establishing her as his pre-eminent interpreter and a major force in the American avant-garde. The New Yorker described her as “the diva of avant-garde pianism and The New York Times “the queen of the toy piano.” 

After discovering Cage’s Suite for Toy Piano in 1993, Ms. Tan became fascinated with the artistic potential of the toy piano. In her groundbreaking 1997 album, The Art of the Toy Piano, she elevated the status of this humble toy to produce music that transcended the piano’s conventional boundaries.

A recipient of The National Endowment for the Arts' Solo Recitalist Award, Tan is the first woman to earn a doctorate from The Juilliard School. Her work has inspired composers to write for her such as Ge Gan-ru, Tan Dun, Somei Satoh, Alvin Lucier, Julia Wolfe and Toby Twining. Tan is also a favorite of composer George Crumb.

Margaret Leng Tan’s latest Mode recording, SHE HERSELF ALONE: The Art of the Toy Piano II, was released in 2010.


Tickets: £10 / £5 students and under 18s
Doors 4.30pm / Performance Starts 5pm
Click the green button to book or call 01424 229 111. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

Special offer: £5 if booking another ticket to selected events in the series. Events included in the offer - Margaret Leng Tan, Indeterminacy, Brainwaves and Keith Tippett.

>> Read more about Everyday is a Good Day
>> See what else is on during a nod to Cage
>> Download a calendar of events

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Sat 16 Apr 2011
Tickets: Free entry

Booking & Information:
01424 229 111
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