Phyllis Chen

Phyllis Chen

Fellow: Awarded 2022
Field of Study: Music Composition

Competition: US & Canada

Described by the New York Times as “spellbinding” and “delightfully quirky matched with interpretive sensitivity,” Phyllis is a composer and sound artist whose music draws from her tactile exploration of object and sound. The toy piano became her grounds to develop her personal voice, one that reflects her third-culture kid experience. She was named a Cage-Cunningham Fellow from the Baryshnikov Arts Center, the recipient of the Jerome-Roulette Intermedium residency, Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard, Pew Heritage Trust (via ICEensemble), New Music USA and New York State Council for the Arts. Phyllis has received commissions from the International Contemporary Ensemble, A Far Cry Orchestra, Claire Chase’s Density Project, Opera Cabal, Singapore International Festival for the Arts, Look & Listen Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center and others. Phyllis was a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble whom she recorded her album of original chamber works with composer Nathan Davis in “The Nature of Thingness” (Starkland). The album was awarded the 2016 Independent Music Awards for Best Classical Album. She was also the founder/director of UnCaged Toy Piano (2007-2018), a biennial toy piano festival. Phyllis is currently an assistant professor of music composition at the State University of New York New Paltz.

Photo Credit: Kimono Photography

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