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Margaret Leng Tan


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Margaret Leng Tan was born in Singapore in 1953. At 16 she won a scholarship to study at The Juilliard School and became the first woman to graduate with a Doctorate of Music from the University.

Tan worked with John Cage for the last 11 years of his life. She has since been hailed as “the leading exponent of Cage’s music today” ( The New Republic) and “the most convincing interpreter of John Cage’s keyboard music” (The New York Times).

Tan performed Cage’s music throughout North America, Europe and Asia and in the PBS “American Masters” films on John Cage and Jasper Johns. The association with Cage also led to her enchantment with the toy piano. She made her debut on the instrument in 1993 at New York’s Lincoln Center, playing Cage’s 1948 Suite for Toy Piano. Since finding this first toy piano, she continued to acquire many others, including a 37-key Schoenhut toy grand piano. She continues to, in her own words, “remain wholeheartedly intrigued by the toy piano’s magical overtones, hypnotic charm, and not least, its off-key poignancy.” Tan now resides in Brooklyn when she is not touring internationally.


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