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date: 01 March 2021

Cage, John locked

  • James Pritchett
  •  and Laura Kuhn

Extract

(b Los Angeles, Sept 5, 1912; d New York, Aug 12, 1992). American composer. One of the leading figures of the postwar avant garde. The influence of his compositions, writings and personality has been felt by a wide range of composers around the world. He has had a greater impact on music in the 20th century than any other American composer.

His initial education was at Los Angeles High School and then, for two years, at Pomona College, Claremont, which he left in 1930. After a year in Europe dabbling in various arts, Cage came back to Los Angeles in 1931 and began to study composition. His first instruction came from Richard Buhling, who subsequently introduced him to Cowell, with whom he studied non-Western, folk and contemporary music at the New School for Social Research. Cage’s compositional interests tended towards chromatic counterpoint and Cowell suggested that he study with Adolph Weiss in New York with an aim towards working with Schoenberg who had recently arrived in the USA. Cage followed Schoenberg to Los Angeles in ...

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