Conlon Nancarrow

Conlon Nancarrow (1912 - 1997) composed approximately fifty Studies for player piano,

some of the most remarkable music of the 20th century.

"My essential concern, whether you can analyze it or not, is emotional; there's an impact that I try to achieve by these means." —Conlon Nancarrow (from “Conlon Nancarrow: Interviews in Mexico City” with Roger Reynolds)

"This music is the greatest discovery since Webern and Ives... something great and important for all music history! His music is so utterly original, enjoyable, perfectly constructed but at the same time emotional...for me it's the best of any composer living today." —György Ligeti (in a letter to Charles Amirkhanian)

"Conlon's music has such an outrageous, original character that it is literally shocking. It confronts you. Like Emerson said of Thoreau, 'We have a new proposition.'" —John Cage (from On Conlon Nancarrow, Eva Soltes)

"His music, almost all written for player piano, is the most rhythmically complex ever written." —Kyle Gann (The Music of Conlon Nancarrow)

"It doesn't seem possible that art like that could exist." —Roger Reynolds (from Conlon Nancarrow: Virtuoso of the Player Piano, James Greeson).

"The stuff is fantastic... You've got to hear it. It'll kill you." —Frank Zappa (from Musician, with Dan Forte).

"Every time Conlon punched a hole, the world got more interesting." —Robert Willey

©2011 Robert Willey