Margaret Leng Tan: "Sorceress of the New Piano" Film Screening and Conversation
Margaret Leng Tan
Sorceress of the New Piano
10 years in the making, a film by Evans Chan traces the artist’s life, career and pianism.
Strumming the strings of a grand piano like a harp and performing Beethoven on toy piano are among the surprising scenes in Evans Chan’s documentary, Sorceress of the New Piano (2004), which celebrates the trans-cultural career of Singapore-born, New York-based pianist Margaret Leng Tan, hailed by The New Yorker as “the diva of avant-garde pianism”.
• The film traces Tan’s quest for a new pianistic language, performing ground-breaking works by masters Henry Cowell, George Crumb, and her longtime mentor John Cage, as well as by maverick composers of the next generation: Philip Glass, Tan Dun, Somei Satoh, Ge Gan-ru, Toby Twining, Lois V Vierk, Raphael Mostel, Guy Klucevsek, Stephen Montague, and Jed Distler.
• Featured performers and critics include Joan LaBarbara, Edward Rothstein (The New York Times), Mark Swed (Los Angeles Times), and Joshua Kosman (San Francisco Chronicle) share their thoughts on Tan’s artistry and musical lineage.
• Incorporating vintage footage of Merce Cunningham’s dance, Jasper Johns’ art, and a Marcel Duchamp film; Sorceress also highlights Tan’s latest transformation as the champion and pioneer of new repertoire for the toy piano.
Best Music Documentary Nominee:
Silverdocs: AFI-Discovery Channel Documentary Festival (2005)
Best Documentary Nominee: San Francisco Asian American International Film Festival (2005)
“an exemplary documentary”
— 2005 TimeOut Film Guide
“an exciting work of art in itself”
—Tim Page, The Washington Post
“a charming, very human film”
— John Schaeffer, host of NPR’s New Sounds
Magaret Leng Tan will introduce the film and will take questions from the audience following the screening.