Piano vocal duo Phyllis Chen and Peter Tantsits pay homage to the Weimar Cabaret in this evening of impassioned and politically electrifying contemporary settings of Bertolt Brecht, Matthias Brauer and the Romantic-era feminist Karoline von Günderrode. Seduction and playfulness juxtapose alienation and oppression in arresting music by Hans Werner Henze, Wolfgang Rihm, and the US premiere of music by Wolfram Oettl.
Tenor Peter Tantsits has earned an international reputation for his dramatic flair, keen musicianship, and ability to fearlessly embrace the most stratospheric vocal writing of the 20th and 21st centuries. Always eager to push the boundaries of the lyric tenor repertoire, he was recently named “one of his generation’s most consistently satisfying contemporary vocal music specialists” by OPERA Magazine (UK). Peter is often called upon to perform the modern classics of the 20th century such as Berg and Ligeti as well as new works, particularly evidenced by recent success on the stages of Teatro alla Scala, Lincoln Center, and the Beijing International Music Festival. Performing with ICE since its inception, Peter has collaborated with the ensemble on works by composers such as Berio, Birtwistle, Gubaidulina, Kagel, Ligeti, Nono, Rihm, Ustvolskaya, and Xenakis in addition to new works.
Praised by The New York Times for her "delightful quirkiness matched with interpretive sensitivity," Phyllis Chen is a pianist, toy pianist and multimedia artist that performs original multimedia compositions and works by contemporary composers. The Chicago Reader says that Phyllis has "become one of the world's leading proponents of the toy piano." Her artistic pursuits take her in numerous directions as a toy pianist, pianist, and composer, leading to her selection as a New Music/New Places Fellow at the 2007 Concert Artist Guild International Competition. The LA Times simply states, "she is a bold pianist with an excellent sense of color." Phyllis founded the UnCaged Toy Piano, a composition competition to further expand the repertoire for toy piano and electronics. The competition has received works from composers all around the world and these compositions become an integral part of her repertoire. A strong interest in interdisciplinary work led her to collaborations with video artist and electronic musician Rob Dietz with whom she created multimedia works such as The Memoirist, Pearlessence, Chroma and Carousel. The two of them are interested in co-creating new works that rethink the idea of live art and performance using music and visuals.