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An Interview with Margaret Leng Tan (July 17, 1984)

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 18 min
Event Type: Interview Program Origin: KPFA

Charles Amirkhanian interviews pianist Margaret Leng Tan, recorded on July 17, 1984. Born in Singapore in 1945, Tan is a classically trained musician who is perhaps best known for her performances on the toy piano and other unconventional instruments, and as a renowned interpreter of the works of John Cage and similar avant-garde composers. Tan attended Juilliard where she was the first woman ever to receive a Doctorate from the famous university. Her thesis was on the free or experimental music of Percy Grainger, and her personal relationship with his family gave her complete access to his archives, and to fully explore his early experiments with electro-mechanical music instruments. Despite her traditional music background Tan, perhaps influenced by her own ancestry, quickly began exploring both world music, as well as those Asian-influenced new music compositions by John Cage, Henry Cowell and other West coast composers. In this interview she discusses these influences as well as her recent and upcoming performances. This interview was recorded with the intent to be broadcast during a KPFA program, and includes references to pieces of music that may have been included in that broadcast but which are unfortunately not heard here.

Genre:  New Music
Subject:  Tan, Margaret Leng; Grainger, Percy, 1882-1961; New music; Composers, United States
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Tan, Margaret Leng
Recording Date:  7/17/1984
 
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