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Moser takes “Sounding Off” to NY’s Poisson Rouge (Feb 1)

On February 1, cellist Johannes Moser and his collaborator, the performance artist and toy pianist Phyllis Chen, bring their first U.S. tour together – “Sounding Off: A Fresh Look at Classical Music” – to a close in New York’s downtown music venue, (Le) Poisson Rouge.  The performance marks the end of a six-city tour across America, in which they bring their fresh and original take on the creative process and concert experience to universities, schools, and community groups.  Before each performance – featuring works ranging from classical to experimental – they conduct a variety of educational outreach activities, designed to allow each city’s audience to find and develop its own unique identity.  Moser and Chen began their “Sounding Off” tour on January 17 in San Diego, CA, with stops in San Francisco, Detroit, Malibu’s Pepperdine University, and Boulder, before their New York City date.

Rather than performing in concert halls, Moser and Chen have elected to appear at alternative performance spaces, including bars, clubs, and galleries, making (Le) Poisson Rouge, Manhattan’s leading venue for eclectic gigs, the perfect home for their final concert.  Playing on traditional and electric cello, and on traditional, prepared, and toy piano, Moser and Chen will present repertoire from both the classical canon and the cutting edge, to show how the latest trends in modern music can influence classical performance and presentation.  In a recent performance at Barbès in Brooklyn, NY, Moser and Chen previewed some of the tour’s repertoire and captured it on video:

Johannes Moser has long been an advocate of music education and audience development during his travels around the world.  He has been a frequent ambassador to schools, hospitals, and community groups, both through “Rhapsody in School”, which coordinates these activities throughout Europe, and by reaching out directly to community organizations.  In the U.S., Moser has taken the initiative of contacting such organizations, and provides performances and demonstrations between his formal concert dates.  “I started visiting hospitals, schools, retirement homes, and hospices when I was 19 years old.  Until then, playing concerts had been something fun but rather abstract to me,” Moser explains.  “The more I played in these environments, the more I learned that music can make a real difference in people’s lives, including mine.  Performing these activities on a regular basis has changed the way I think about making music.”

More information about Johannes Moser’s “Sounding Off” tour is available at

For more information about Johannes Moser and Phyllis Chen, please visit and



“Sounding Off: A Fresh Look at Classical Music”
Johannes Moser, cello
Phyllis Chen, toy piano
(Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street
Monday, February 1 at 7:30pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

Debussy: Sonata
Stockhausen: Zodiac
Phyllis Chen: new composition

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© 21C Media Group, January 2010

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