News & Events
April 6, 2009
Acclaimed avant-guarde pianist Margaret Leng Tan will speak at two events at UNC Asheville on April 15-16. Her talks are the University’s 2009 Laurence and Joyce Door Lectures in “Aesthetics: Thinking Beyond Experience.” Events are free and open to the public.
Tan will give a talk on “Through the Silence: A John Cage Tribute” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, at UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium. Born in Singapore, Tan was the first woman to earn a doctorate of music from the Julliard School. Upon graduation, Tan’s desire to explore the crosscurrents between Asian and Western music led to an active collaboration with John Cage that lasted until his death. She is now known as one of the pre-eminent interpreters of Cage’s music and was chosen as the featured performer in a memorial tribute concert to Cage at the 45th Venice Biennale. During her talk, Tan will perform Cage’s “Suite for Toy Piano,” the first-ever serious composition for the instrument. She will also play "In the Name of the Holocaust" for string piano.
A screening of the 2004 documentary “Sorceress of the New Piano: The Artistry of Margaret Leng Tan” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, at UNC Asheville’s Humanities Lecture Hall. Tan will hold a question-and-answer session following the film. The 92-minute documentary directed by Evans Chan traces Tan’s quest for a new pianistic language. A decade in the making, “Sorceress” also highlights Tan’s transformation as the world’s first professional toy pianist, turning a child’s plaything into a musical instrument worthy of the international concert stage.
The events are made possible by a gift from UNC Asheville emeriti professors Laurence and Joyce Dorr, along with James Topp and Paula Grillot. The annual Dorr Lecture Series seeks to promote philosophical reflection on the arts.
While at UNC Asheville, Laurence Dorr served at Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Philosophy Department Chair and Humanities Program Professor. Joyce Dorr established, chaired and taught in the University's Music Department. She also taught in the Arts and Ideas Program.
For more information about Tan’s talks, call Samer Traboulsi, UNC Asheville Assistant Professor of History, at 828.251.6298.