In 1973 my mother bought me my first toy piano at Harvey’s Department Store in Nashville.  This is not quite the heartwarming tale of a little tyke that it might at first seem to be, since I was at the time a student at New England Conservatory, and she was getting it for me so I could play the Cage Suite for Toy Piano in a concert in Jordan Hall.  It turned out that, completely inadvertently (only operating according to her generosity), she had got me the Steinway of toy pianos, a Schoenhut.  I’ve continued to play the Cage over the years, and last summer my toy piano more or less just fell apart. 
As I thought about buying a new one, it occurred to me that I should do an inaugural concert on it.  I began to ask people to write pieces for me, and mostly they agreed to do.  

The concert is on Sunday, April 8 at 8:00pm in the Marshall Room in the Music Building at Boston University (855 Commonwealth Avenue). 

The concert includes–in addition to the Cage–pre-existing pieces by Kyle Gann, Eve Beglarian, Richard Whalley, and Dai Fujikura (for toy piano and violin pizzicato–the violinist will be Peter Zazofsky).  There are new pieces, which will be having their first performances, by Lyle Davidson, Pozzi Escot, Stephen Feigenbaum, Michael Finnissy, Philip Grange, John Heiss, Derek Hurst (with electronic sounds–i.e. on my boombox), Matthew McConnell, Matthew Mendez, Nico Muhly, Ketty Nez (for toy piano and piano–Ketty will be the pianist), Dave Smith, Jeremy Woodruff, William Zuckerman, and me (for clavichord and toy piano–the clavichord player will be Peter Sykes).  (I’m pretty sure that’s everybody.) The pieces are all really good and all really different from each other. 

I hope you can come to this (what can only be described as an) unusual concert.

2 thoughts on “Me and My Toy Piano”
  1. A while ago an announcement of a concert of my music which happened to neglect to say when and where it was happening got posted here. This one says alot, but neglects to say that I’m the one playing it.

    As to the Finnissy, I’m not sure. He’s published these days by OUP, but I’m not sure what’s happening to it beyond my playing it.

  2. I would be very interested in seeing the score for the Finnissy piece. (I live in San Diego, so attending the concert isn’t a possibility.) Do you know if he’s going to make it available, or if I might be able to get a copy in some way?

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