Jenny Tang

Jenny Tang

Midday Muse: Jenny Tang, piano

a coincidence of chaos and order
Feb 21, 2018, 12:30 PM
Jewett Auditorium
Free and open to the public

This concert will examine the order and predictability of seemingly chaotic compositions, such as Ligeti’s L’escalier du diable (The Devil’s Staircase) and Barber’s Piano Sonata, and the underlying chaos and randomness that can be found in the apparently controlled Humoreske of Schumann. Ligeti’s L’escalier du diable has an uncertain time signature; with hardly any bar lines, the 12/8 time signature seems completely arbitrary. However, the piece is highly ordered in its constant pulse and calculated structure. Similarly, the moody and temperamental character of Barber’s Sonata belies a very controlled and organized structure in the fugue of the last movement, with balanced and continuous interweaving voice parts. On the other hand, Schumann’s piece is written with a conventional time signature and tonal harmony. These regular forms are undermined with erratic bursts of emotion, character, and structure.

Jenny Tang, pianist, regularly performs in solo and chamber music recitals throughout the U.S., including in such venues as Jordan Hall, Sanders Theatre, Symphony Hall, Berklee College of Music, Wellesley College, and the Kennedy Center. Tang was born in Hong Kong and began her musical studies at age 3 with her mother, Chow Lai-Hah. At age 14, she was awarded the Licentiate Diploma from the Royal Schools of Music (UK) in piano performance and the following year was honored as a Fellow of the Trinity College of Music in London. Tang is a lecturer at Wellesley College, teaching music theory and piano performance, and is the co-director of Wellesley College Chamber Music Society. She frequently collaborates with the Theatre Department as music director.


Generously supported by the Marjorie Copland Baum Memorial Fund.