John Cage

John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer, music theorist, writer, and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential …

Henry Cowell

Henry Cowell (1897-1965), was born in Menlo Park, California. The “godfather of the American experimental tradition” (in the words of Alex Ross), got an early start. While still young Cowell’s mother encouraged him to purchase a piano and, something of a child prodigy, he would give private recitals featuring his early compositions, including Anger Dance …

Lou Harrison

Lou Harrison (1917 – 2003) was an American musical pioneer, composing works that incorporated Javanese gamelan and non-Western influences and explored the use of alternate tunings and new instruments. Spending much of his youth on the West Coast, he studied with Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg, before moving to New York to work with Virgil …

Terry Riley

Terry Riley (1935 -) is often credited with the dual title of being the father of both the Minimalist movement and psychedelic rock. His career has had a profound influence on a range of musicians and composers, including Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams, as well groups such as The Who, The Soft Machine …

Carl Ruggles

Writing only 84 minutes of music in the entirety of his career, Carl Ruggles’ eight published works nonetheless attest to his complete dedication to atonality and ultra-modernism. Ruggle’s prickly personality was paired with a meticulously deliberate compositional process – Michael Tilson Thomas recalled visiting the composer and hearing him play “every sonority, every chord . …

John Luther Adams

Called “one of the most original musical thinkers of the new century” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker), John Luther Adams is a composer whose life and work are deeply rooted in the natural world. Adams composes for orchestra, chamber ensembles, percussion and electronic media, and his music is recorded on Cold Blue, New World, Mode, …