Concert review: A Far Cry w/special guest Phyllis Chen (4/17/2014)

Meta-blog notes: I have pretty much been living in Crazy Town (Insaniville? Madbridge?) for the last month – as a result, not a lot of shows attended and even fewer blogs written. Life has stabilized but still involves a lot of overtime and extra doctor’s appointments, so I’m not sure when my output will pick up again. I do have tickets to a lot of great music events in May and June (Nick Cave, Marc Ribot’s birthday week of concerts, Joe Henry, another Deadly Gentlemen’s Ball, The Tempest featuring the music of Tom Waits, etc.) so there will definitely be some fun blogs even if I don’t cover as many smaller shows as I usually do.

I had such a busy week that I almost forgot that I had a ticket to this concert – luckily I did remember in time, even if I only got there five minutes before showtime! And even luckier, there was a single seat available in the front row right where I was hoping to sit, with a great view of the piano. A Schoenhut, because of course you have to have the best!

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Yes, it’s a children’s toy piano. And yes, this was a serious classical concert. That’s just how we roll in contemporary music. Phyllis Chen, the only renowned toy pianist I’ve personally ever heard of, was a special guest and soloist – she performed three of her own pieces with A Far Cry, which is an 18-piece string ensemble based here in Boston. In addition to the toy piano, she played on (more…)