Gloria Cheng and Terry Riley, piano solo and piano four hands
The Heaven Ladder, and other piano works of Terry Riley

From ragas to ragtime, the endless invention of composer-pianist Terry Riley is celebrated tonight by Grammy-winning pianist Gloria Cheng and the composer himself in a retrospective evening of Riley works for piano.

The Heaven Ladder, Book 7 (1994), commissioned by Cheng is performed by her, along with Riley’s tribute to The Beatles, The Walrus in Memoriam (1991), and the early, virtuosic Two Pieces for Piano (1958-59).

Following intermission, Riley himself performs Simply M . . . (2007) in memory of Dr. Margaret Lyon, longtime chair of music at Mills College, and Requiem for Wally (1997), a tribute to ragtime mentor Wally Rose.

In conclusion, Riley and Cheng team up for the San Francisco premiere of Cheng Tiger Growl Roar (2018) for piano four-hands.


It’s rare to hear two musicians of decidedly different temperaments playing together. Riley’s style, while virtuosic, is open and often playful. Cheng is the master of exactitude.

—SF Classical Voice

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Regular admission: $45


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About the artists

Terry Riley, the father of minimalist music, is a legendary presence not just in his native Northern California but around the world. At 83, he continues to compose and concertize internationally. Los Angeles-based pianist Gloria Cheng has collaborated with Pierre Boulez, Olivier Messiaen, György Ligeti, Thomas Adés, Witold Lutoslawski, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Oliver Knussen, John Adams, Randy Newman, John Williams, and Kaija Saariaho. With degrees from Stanford, UCLA and USC, she is the undisputed leading pianist of the Pac 12 Conference.

Presented by Other Minds
Charles Amirkhanian, Artistic Director

About Other Minds
Founded in 1992, Other Minds in San Francisco is a leading organization for new and experimental music in all its forms, devoted to championing the most original, eccentric and underrepresented creative voices in contemporary music. From festival concerts, film screenings, radio broadcasts and the commissioning of new works, to producing and releasing CDs, preserving thousands of interviews and concerts and distributing them free on the Internet, Other Minds has become one of the world’s major conservators of new music’s ecology.

Image courtesy Other Minds.