Margaret Leng Tan: Cowell, Cage, Crumb

Metamorphoses, Book I (2017) is George Crumb’s long-awaited new work for amplified piano. He is the Holland Festival’s composer in focus this year. Crumb wrote this com­position specifically for pianist Margaret Leng Tan. He once called her ‘a sorceress of the piano’ because she is so thoroughly familiar with the unusual sound palette and playing techniques he requires. Tan caused a furore with her virtuoso performance of Crumb’s famous Makrokosmos cycle, and worked for a long time with John Cage, whose The Perilous Night is on the programme too. There are also compositions by one of the founders of the American ex­perimental tradition, Henry Cowell, some of which are played entirely without using the piano keys.


John Cage (1912-1992)

The Perilous Night (1944) 


Henry Cowell (1897-1965)

The Tides of Manaunaun (1917)

Aeolian Harp (1923)

The Banshee (1925)

Advertisement (1914/1959)




George Crumb (1929)

Metamorphoses, Book I (2017)

European premiere


Click here for more information

St. John’s Smith Square, London (7:30pm, 24th April)

PLG Young Artists Spring Series 2017

Joy Lisney, SOLO CELLO   |   Laefer Saxophone Quartet

Ligeti   Solo Cello Sonata

Jan Vriend   Symphonic Dances for solo cello (world premiere)

Bennett   Saxophone Quartet

Charlotte Harding   New work for Saxophone Quartet (world premiere)

Joy Lisney   New work for solo cello (world premiere)

George Crumb   Sonata for solo cello

Giles Swayne   New work for saxophone quartet (world premiere)

Mendelssohn   Capriccio Op. 81 No. 3 (for saxophone quartet)

Click here for more information.

St. George’s, Bristol (19th March, 7:30pm)

Joy Lisney violoncello
James Lisney piano

Beethoven  Variations on Mozart’s ‘Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen’ WoO46
George Crumb  Sonata for Solo Cello
Schubert  Sonata in A minor, D 821 ‘Arpeggione’
Beethoven  Variations on Mozart’s ‘Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen’ WoO45
Ligeti  Sonata for Solo Cello
Brahms ‘Regenlied’ Sonata, Op 78*

Following an extraordinary journey through the Beethoven cello sonatas at St George’s two years ago, word soon spread that this was a very special musical partnership –  and now cellist Joy Lisney is back, en route to the Leipzig Gewandhaus, with a new programme created and performed with her father, pianist James Lisney.  This is the perfect chance to hear some of the best known and loved pieces for cello and piano in one sitting: from the operatic variations that link those two masters of invention, Beethoven and Mozart, and the deep romantic sighs of Chopin’s Cello Sonata, to the avant-garde musings of American composer George Crumb and the joyful, dancelike sequences of Schubert’s ‘Arpeggione’ Sonata.

Click here for more information.