A resource drawing on the archival collections of the Research Library at the Getty Research Institute, relating to the work of pianist/composer David Tudor (1926–1996)

Created 2001, with minor edits in 2010
Author: Nancy Perloff, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Collections



Brown / David Tudor with materials for a realization of John Cage's Cartridge Music
This digital resource is a gateway to the David Tudor papers and related collections at the Getty Research Institute, providing links to online library records and collection finding aids. It documents and complements the Getty Research Institute symposium "The Art of David Tudor: Indeterminacy and Performance in Postwar Culture," organized in collaboration with the California Institute of the Arts School of Music, which took place in May 2001 at the Getty Center. The resource continues the symposium's mission by addressing Tudor's dual career as a virtuoso pianist and as a composer and performer of live electronic music. It situates his work within the history of experimental music and mixed-media collaboration in the postwar and contemporary periods.

Unknown / David Tudor working on second realization of John Cage's Concert for Piano and Orchestra: Solo for Piano
Phase I of this digital resource introduced researchers to the David Tudor papers, Tudor's biography, related Research Library archival collections, and the May 2001 symposium. Phase II incorporated materials directly related to the symposium: paper abstracts and informal program notes. This third phase opens new avenues for research on Tudor and his contemporaries by providing a scholarly biography based on little-known sources in Tudor's archive, a glossary, biographies of artists and collaborators, and a list of citations for further reading — including references to outside repositories and Web sites. The resource is illustrated with musical scores (in excerpt), Tudor's schematic diagrams for his electronic works, programs for performances, and documentary photographs of Tudor's life. It includes audiovisual excerpts from the Tudor papers and the 2001 symposium, the latter featuring moments from the Artists' Panel and the installation of Tudor's Rainforest IV, both held at CalArts. Additional documentation includes the symposium paper abstracts and full texts, and the program notes for Rainforest I and for the two evening concerts held at the Getty Center.

Full footage of symposium events and audiotapes of the paper sessions are held in the special collections of the Research Library at the Getty Research Institute.

Unknown / David Tudor performing John Cage's Water Music in Darmstadt
Cross / David Tudor at electronics table