Phyllis Chen – Tickets – Constellation – Chicago, IL – October 13th, 2013
Phyllis Chen

Frequency Series Presents

Phyllis Chen

Sun, October 13, 2013

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm


Chicago, IL


Tickets at the Door

This event is 21 and over

Phyllis Chen
Phyllis Chen
Phyllis Chen celebrates the release of her third toy piano album Little Things with a special solo concert. Ticket price includes a copy of the new CD!

In August 2013, New York-based toy pianist Phyllis Chen released Little Things, her third solo toy piano album, on New Focus Recordings. Praised by the LA Times as “a dazzling delight,” Phyllis’s new album features a wide range of works written or dedicated to her in the last few years, as she continues to expand the range of the toy piano in a concert setting. Also an active composer, Ms. Chen's creative sensibility pervades these commissions, as her innovative approach to the instrument emboldened the composers to experiment and imagine new worlds for this under appreciated instrument. From virtuosic solo works such as 2009 UnCaged Toy Piano competition winner Fabian Svenssons’s Toy Toccata to the ambient-loop based title track The Little Things by Angélica Negrón for toy instruments, the diversity of the seven tracks on this recording is tied together by a focus on the toy piano as a central voice in composition. Other gems on this album include Dai Fujikura’s Milliampere, Nathan Davis’s The Mechanics of Escapament for toy piano and clock chimes, Karlheinz Essl’s Whatever Shall Be for toy piano, music box and gadgets and Takuji Kawai’s Okura.

Praised by the New York Times for her “delightful quirkiness matched with interpretive sensitivity,” Phyllis is a pianist, toy pianist and composer that performs original multimedia compositions and works by contemporary composers. The Oregonian states “her captivating performance was animated by unbridled inventiveness, the kind of joyous creativity that playing with toys is meant to inspire.” Phyllis’ artistic pursuits take her in numerous directions leading to her selection as a New Music/New Places Fellow at the 2007 Concert Artist Guild International Competition. Playing an instrument that has no set boundaries or genre, Phyllis has been invited to perform at a large variety of festivals and concerts in the US and abroad.
Phyllis is one of the founding members of ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), a New York-based collective dedicated to the performance and promotion of new works. Phyllis was selected as one of the composer/artist for the inaugural ICElab Series, ICE’s newest model for commissioning, developing and performing new music by nurturing the essential composer-performer collaboration. Her chamber cycle GlassClouds will be performed this year with ICE at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and Atlas in Washington DC. Phyllis was also the recipient of the 2012 Roulette Commission (funded by the Jerome Foundation) to create a new solo work and one of twelve composers-recipients of the 2012 Fromm Music Foundation.


Fabian Svennson: Toy Toccata (in Black and White) for solo toy piano
Angélica Negrón: The Little Things for toy instruments and live electronics
Takuji Kawai: Okura for solo toy piano
Nathan Davis: Mechanics of Escapement for toy piano and clock chimes
Andrián Pertout: Pi (Obstruction) for solo toy piano Karlheinz Essl: Whatever Shall Be for toy piano, dreidel, chopstick, music box, and electronics
Dai Fujikura: Milliampere for solo toy piano
Venue Information:
3111 N. Western
Chicago, IL, 60618