Next month may well see one of the most adventurous programs of solo piano music from the middle of the twentieth century to the beginning of the 21st to be offered this year. The pianist will be Guam-born Michael Tan, currently based in Brooklyn and a recent graduate of New York University, where he completed his piano studies with Marilyn Nonken. He has prepared an innovative program, which will be hosted by the Center for New Music (C4NM).
The first half of his program will focus on two of the most significant French modernists in the period following the end of the Second World War. Pierre Boulez’ first piano sonata was composed in 1946, not long after the signing of the final peace treaty of that war. This will be preceded by “Le Traquet stapazin” (the black-eared wheatear), one of the longer compositions in Olivier Messiaen’s Catalogue d’oiseaux (catalog of birds) and the only one in the second book of the seven-book collection of thirteen pieces. The entire collection was composed between 1956 and 1958; and “Le Traquet stapazin” was composed in 1956.
The second half of the program will be devoted to two living composers, whose music will be played in chronological order. Tan will begin with two of the movements from Michael Finissy’s 1977 collection English Country-Tunes, “Green Meadows” and “Midsummer Morn.” These will be followed by his 1989 “Stanley Stokes, East Street 1836.” The program will then conclude with two pieces composed by Salvatore Sciarrino in 2001, which he called “cruel nocturnes:”
This concert will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, August 6. C4NM is located at 55 Taylor Street, half a block north of where Golden Gate Avenue meets Market Street. Admission will be $15 with a $10 rate for C4NM members. In addition to being sold at the door, tickets will be available in advance online from a Vendini event page.