Friday, September 10, 2010

Nine years ago

I was living in Dallas, packing for Las Vegas...since then, I have lived in Pennsylvania, and now in Texas.
I have made my first visit to Europe, ultimately filming in Vienna, Copenhagen and this summer in China.  I spent countless nights in New York City and visited composers like George Crumb, Peter Schickele, John Corigliano and Chris Brubeck in their studios.  I was honored with a Deems Taylor Award by ASCAP and feel really good about the work I do.
Hard to believe it has been nine years since 9/11. The world has changed and so have I...

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Acting credits to be added to her resume!

Just listened and watched this new video with Janine Jansen...moving, charming and amazing playing!

Project 440 update

The 12 final composers from Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's Project 440 will be announced live on New York Public Radio at 10 a.m. this morning. The project, which began with 60 composer candidates and will conclude with the selection of four Orpheus commission recipients later this year, offers the public a rare glimpse into the ways new orchestral commissions come to be. Prior to this round of selection, the original 60 composers were narrowed to 30 semi-finalists on August 2. Out of the 12 finalists announced today, the four winners of the competition will be selected and revealed in early October.

The 12 composers selected to advance to the final round in Project 440 are:

Timothy Andres
Tyondai Braxton
Yu-Hui Chang
Eric Guinivan
Alexandre Lunsqui
Dylan Mattingly
Alex Mincek
Clint Needham
Andrew Norman
Paola Prestini
Sean Shepherd
Cynthia Wong

Orpheus designed Project 440 in keeping with the passion for new music and for transparency of the creative process that has been a hallmark of the orchestra since its inception in 1972. The project is documented online on the WQXR website and on Facebook, where fans and members of the public have engaged in lively debate about each of the candidates and Project 440 as a whole. Each composer nominee has a profile page that features samples of his or her previous work and the opportunity for the public to post reactions and comments. The Project 440 website has fostered dialogue about the nature of commissioning, elements of the project that resemble a popularity contest, and a number of other topics. All of the decisions regarding the elimination of candidates are made by a Selection Committee comprised of Orpheus musicians and staff as well as previously commissioned composers.

Orpheus cellists and Selection Committee members Jonathan Spitz and Eric Bartlett have created a series of videos to document the project from their perspective as well. Those videos are available through the Orpheus YouTube channel.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

NY concert - toy piano

On Sunday, September 12, toy pianist Phyllis Chen opens the fifth season of Barbès Classical, Concert Artists Guild’s monthly second-Sunday series at Barbes Bar & Performance Space in Park Slope, Brooklyn. This concert celebrates the release of Ms. Chen’s second CD, Mesmers, a compilation of miniature works composed by Ms. Chen for miniature pianos, various music boxes, live electronics and bowls. Additionally, this serves as a preview for spring 2011 when Ms. Chen will at Barbès in a residency focusing on cross-genre compositions and collaborations.
This performance will feature music from the CD, which is bookended by Carousel and Cobwebbed Carousel; the latter was written by Ms. Chen for toy pianist Margaret Leng Tan in response to Ms. Tan’s enthusiasm for the former. Other works include Colure for toy piano and bowls, Double Helix for toy piano and bowls, Taroko for music box and effects, Hypnos for two toy pianos, Passageway for sampled music box and prepared piano and Munin Raven for music boxes and live-electronics.
This new CD is representative of several diverse projects for Phyllis Chen, an artist whose pursuits take her in numerous directions as a toy pianist, pianist, composer and performance artist. In addition to Mesmers, Ms. Chen launches The Looking Glass ReWondered in 2010-2011, a multimedia program inspired by fairytales and created in collaboration with video artist Rob Deitz. Sounding Off: A Fresh Look at Classical Music, a recent six-city tour with cellist Johannes Moser, was a great success, merging the classical canon with the cutting-edge. Ms. Chen was the featured musician for the world premiere and ensuing six-week run of Stephin Merritt’s Off-Broadway production, Coraline, and she is a member of ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), a Chicago and New York-based collective dedicated to the performance and promotion of new works.
Concert Artists Guild is a not for profit arts service organization whose mission is to discover nurture and promote young musicians. CAG helps talented artists, identified through its annual international competition, to build sustainable careers. Barbès Classical is the flagship series of CAG’s New Music/New Places initiative which presents CAG artists in non-traditional venues such as bars, clubs and galleries, introducing diverse audiences to concert music. Competition winners are also presented on the CAG Winners Series at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. The CAG Records label enables roster musicians to get their music onto disc and into the marketplace. The CAG Commissioning Program ensures that classical music continues to be a living art form by fostering collaborations between performers and composers.

________LISTING INFORMATION_________

Barbès Classical
Sunday, September 12, 7:00 pm – Barbès Bar and Performance Space, 376 Ninth Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn
PHYLLIS CHEN, toy piano
CD Release Concert - Mesmers
$10 suggested contribution

Mesmers track listing:
Carousel for toy piano and hand-cranked music box
Colure for toy piano and bowls
Double Helix for toy piano and bowls
Taroko for music box and effects
Hypnos for two toy pianos
Passageway for sampled music box and prepared piano
Munin Raven for music boxes and live-electronics
Cobwebbed Carousel for toy piano and hand-cranked music box