Biography of MARGARET LENG TAN:

The avant-garde hasn't had a performer like Margaret Leng Tan in years. She's one of those rare pianists whose performance style takes equal billing with the music

-- The Village Voice, New York


The first woman to graduate with a Doctor of Music from Juilliard, Margaret Leng Tan (http://www.margaretlengtan.com) is recognized as "the leading exponent of John Cage's music today" (The New Republic), "the most convincing interpreter of Cage's keyboard music" (The New York Times), and "the diva of avant-garde pianism" (New Yorker). She appeared in the Public Broadcasting System's American Masters films on John Cage and Jasper Johns and has participated in major events honoring Cage. Tan's discography on Mode, New Albion and ECM is regarded by critics as definitive recordings of Cage's music. Her recording of his Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra with Dennis Russell Davies and the American Composers Orchestra (on The Seasons [ECM]), was a Gramophone Award nominee, made several year-end lists including Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Times and won the prize for Best Contemporary Recording at The 38th Record Academy Awards in Japan in 2001.

During 2002, Tan presented many 10th anniversary commemorative tributes to John Cage: at the Berliner Festspiele, the Klavier Festival Ruhr, Melbourne Festival, Singapore Arts Festival, Carnegie Hall's "When Morty Met John" Cage/Feldman Festival, on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage and at the Maverick Concert Hall in Woodstock, N.Y., where Cage's notorious silent piece, 4'33", was premiered fifty years ago.

Margaret Leng Tan's commitment to repertory transcending the piano's conventional boundaries has inspired many composers to create performer-specific works for her. They include John Cage, Alvin Lucier, Tan Dun, Ge Gan-ru, and Toby Twining. Her first CD, Litania, featuring music by Somei Satoh, was named one of the Top Ten Best Recordings of the Year by The New York Times in 1988. The world's only professional toy pianist, Tan has transformed a toy into a legitimate musical instrument as heard on her CD, The Art of the Toy Piano (Point/Universal). She has appeared at major festivals around the world, including BAM Next Wave, Ravinia, Spoleto USA, New Music America, Bang on a Can, MANCA (France), Inventionen (Berlin), Lincoln Center Out-of Doors Serious Fun, Singapore Arts Festival, and Hong Kong Arts Festival.

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Director/Editor EVANS YIU SHING CHAN - see director's bio.

GABRIELLE WEISS (Director of Photography) also worked on Evans Chan's "Subway, New York," a short film commissioned by Radio Television Hong Kong in 2004, and Chan's DVD of Margaret Leng Tan's performance of George Crumb's Makrokosmos I & II, for Mode Records. Weiss worked on the Jon Alpert-directed documentaries: "Coca and the Congressmen" (2003, PBS's "Wide Angle"), "Bridge to Baghdad" (2003, NHK), and "Main Street" (2003, NHK). A Graduate of Cuba's International School of Film and Television, she has shot a number of short films set in Cuba, including "Esto Es Jazz (This is Jazz)," "Y Usted Que Quiere?" and "Quien Eres Tu" (2001), a Venice Film Festival selection. Her own directing and producing credits include "Eighty-eight Years in Brooklyn" (2002), recipient of a Maryland State film/video grant, "Hunger Can't Wait" (in production), and "The Color of Land" (in production), which received a New York State Council for the Arts grant in 2003. She has taught at The Rhode Island School of Design, New York's Downtown Community Television and Cuba's La Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV Havana.

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QUANZHOU ZHAO
(Assistant Director) recently received his MFA in computer art from the School of Visual Arts (New York) in 2004, majoring in character animation. An active artist from Beijing, he attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels for his BFA and graduated with honor. He was a co-founder of the "7" artist group in Brussels and his work has been shown at the Alice and Pierre Art Company in Antwerp, the Museum d'Arts Wallon in Liege (Belgium) as well as the Cultural Center of Monterrey City in Mexico. In 2001, he won a prize given by the Royal Association of Professional Artists of Belgium. Since moving to New York, he has assist directed Evans Chan's TV drama, "Bauhinia" (2002), documentary "Sorceress of the New Piano," and music DVD "George Crumb:
Makrokosmos I & II" (Mode Records). Samples of his 3D animation can be seen at http://animationmind.com.

Born in Chicago, TAD DOYLE (Production Coordinator) was raised in Oregon and Nebraska, then escaped to the University of Maryland where he received his B.A. in Radio, TV and Film. He has been programming film festivals since 1996, including the Film Arts Foundation Film Festival in San Francisco and the Georgetown Independent Film Festival in Washington, DC. He currently is a Programmer for the AFI/Discovery SILVERDOCS Documentary Film Festival. In previous years, Tad has been Director of Programming and a Board Member for the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival. This year he has been appointed Festival Director. He has also worked on numerous independent narrative and documentary projects, including Evans Chan's "Bauhinia" and "The Life and Times of Wu Zhong Xian." Tad's two passions in life are travel and film. He once spent six months wandering through Asia and managed to work on a film festival in Singapore during those adventures.

 

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