Miniature meets Monumental

performed by Margaret Leng Tan on piano, toy piano, toys, sound objects

Margaret Leng Tan-credit to Jim_Standard.jpg


‘Tan is the toy piano’s Rubenstein, coaxing an immensity of feeling from a limited tonal range.’ The Independent (U.K.)

Legendary Singaporean pianist Margaret Leng Tan has been hailed as the ‘diva of avant-garde pianism’ (The New Yorker) and the ‘queen of the toy piano’ (The New York Times). Renowned for her interpretations of John Cage, Tan returns to Melbourne for an eclectic program on toy piano, piano and assorted sound objects.

The concert features a Satie miniature, Jed Distler’s Minute Ring, Beatles classics reinterpreted on toy pianos and teapots, and Erik Griswold’s Old MacDonald’s Yellow Submarine performed on all manner of toys. The Australian premiere of Philip Glass’s early minimalist piano solo, How Now, is the centerpiece in this concert of maximal contrasts with the toy piano holding its own against its behemoth counterpart.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre


ELEANOR RIGBY (1966) John Lennon (1940-80) / Paul McCartney (b.1942)
arranged for toy piano by Toby Twining (b.1958)

CAROUSEL (2010) Phyllis Chen (b.1978)
COBWEBBED CAROUSEL (2010) Phyllis Chen (b.1978)
toy piano and music box. video by Rob Dietz

FÜR ENOLA James Joslin (b.1987)
toy piano, jack-in-the-box and spinning top

From Old MacDonald’s Yellow Submarine (2004)
CHOOKS!, BICYCLE LEE HOOKER Erik Griswold (b.1969)
toy piano, woodblocks, bicycle bell, bicycle horn, train whistle

STAR-SPANGLED ETUDE no.3 (1996) (“Furling Banner”) Raphael Mostel (b.1948)
toy piano, toy siren, police whistle, toy gun
(Australian premiere)

HOW NOW (c.1968) Philip Glass (b.1937)
piano (Australian premiere)


MINUTE RING (2006) Jed Distler (b.1956) (with apologies to R.Wagner)
toy piano

GNOSSIENNE no. 3 (1890) Erik Satie (1866-1925)

AN AMERICAN IN BUENOS AIRES (2001) Toby Twining (b.1958)
(A blues tango) – toy piano and piano (Australian premiere)

TIDES OF MANAUNAUN (1917) Henry Cowell (1897-1965)
ADVERTISEMENT (1914/1959) Henry Cowell (1897-1965)

COSMIC WOMB (1975) Somei Satoh (b.1947)
piano and pre-recorded piano
(Australian premiere)


Margaret Leng Tan piano, toy piano, toys and sound objects


This production is part of the following series:

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