Phyllis Chen Premieres New Work at Baryshnikov Arts Center Tonight

Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) presents accomplished composer and musician Phyllis Chen performing a program featuring the world premiere of her composition, Lighting The Dark, tonight, December 10 at 8PM at the Baryshnikov Arts Center's Jerome Robbins Theater. The evening also includes Chen performing music by William Byrd / John Dowland, Silvia Corda, and Alvin Lucier-all composers who influenced her new work. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at or 866-811-4111.

Phyllis Chen is a trailblazer in creating and performing original multimedia compositions using unconventional instruments and sound-making devices. Regarded as "one of the world's leading proponents of the toy piano" (Chicago Reader), Chen was in residence at BAC in 2011 with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), during which she created and performed a cycle of chamber works using the toy piano as the central voice. In 2014, BAC commissioned Chen to develop a new composition-the latest in the artist's repertoire of multi-instrument, interdisciplinary collaborations reflecting her "delightful quirkiness matched with interpretive sensitivity" (The New York Times).

Lighting The Dark, commissioned by BAC, is scored for accordion, toy piano, clavichord, electronics, and hand-made music boxes. It is inspired by photographer Paola Gianturco, whose body of work documents women from 55 countries courageously battling such issues as poverty, disease, illiteracy, and human rights abuses. In Lighting The Dark, these global women are symbolically depicted in the figurines of Chen's hand-made music box instruments, created by puppeteer Jordan Morley. With projections designed by her collaborator, video and sound artist Rob Dietz, Chen blends sonic and visual elements to create a poignant multimedia performance.

The program on December 10 also includes Chen performing innovative works for toy piano and piano by composers she credits as her musical influences for Lighting The Dark. Chen will perform John Dowland / William Byrd's Pavana Lachrymae, Silvia Corda's Tre ritratti del tempo, and Alvin Lucier's Music for Piano with Magnetic Strings.

Generous support for Lighting The Dark is made possible by the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts.

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