Tona Scherchen

Tona Scherchen is a present-day composer whose name, though not unknown in her adopted country, will probably not elicit much recognition elsewhere; there are not all that many recordings of her work in existence, and what’s available on Youtube is meagre – which is a shame, as this daughter of a Swiss conductor and a Chinese composer has been at work since the 1960s, and at least some of her productions, for instance a piece like “Shen (神),” resonate with popular pleasures and pastimes such as the circus (from which a good part of their humor evidently is derived): these are pieces that could appeal beyond the realm of high seriousness that contemporary classical music, in numerous countries, always threatens to become.