John Cage, love him or hate him, was one of the most influential arbiters of art and culture in the second half of the 20th century. The question remains: Was it a positive influence or a negative one? Was he a creative genius or a clever charlatan? All of the above, probably. One hundred years after his birth, and 20 since his death, the discussion is as lively as ever, and will be provided with even more grist as Bowerbird, Philly’s exceptionally vital experimental-music organization, presents Beyond Silence, a major Cage festival this season in conjunction with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. One of Cage’s favorite performers, pianist Margaret Leng Tan (pictured), will be a featured soloist this week with a recital of Cage’s famous music for prepared piano and some of his toy-piano music. This first leg of the festival, Move from Zero, centers on his early work.
Oct. 26-Nov. 4, PMA events free with admission, other tickets $12-$15, various locations, cagebeyondsilence.com.