John Cage

(born Los Angeles, California, 1912; died New York City, 1992) American composer, philosopher, and writer whose work has had a greater impact on music in the twentieth century than any other American composer. Cage studied counterpoint with Arnold Schoenberg in Los Angeles. In 1938 he took a position as a dance accompanist at the Cornish School of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, where he met his lifelong collaborator Merce Cunningham, for whose dance company Cage would serve as musical director. He composed percussion works for dance that expanded the meaning of "music" to embrace noises produced on everyday objects. He won a Guggenheim fellowship in 1949 for his work with the prepared piano. During the 1950s, while living in New York City, he introduced chance procedures and new forms of graphic notation and created his first works for magnetic tape. His publication of Silence: Lectures and Writing in 1961 drew international acclaim and controversy and prompted commissions for solo instrumental, mixed media, and opera.

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