Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—Marilyn Nonken, celebrated concert pianist and director of piano studies at the Steinhardt School of New York University, will perform a concert titled “Philosophy in Music” at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center at Amherst College. Organized by the Amherst College Departments of Philosophy and Music and funded by the Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science, the concert is free and open to the public.
The concert will consist of six pieces by various artists and inspired by philosophy. Along with John Cage’s famous 4’33,” Nonken will perform works by Charles Ives, Michael Finnissy and Pascal Dusapin, and a piece written by Richard Beaudoin especially for this concert. Beaudoin is a visiting assistant professor of music at Amherst College.
An accomplished solo chamber pianist, Nonken is considered one of the most talented young musicians dedicated to modern and contemporary repertoires. She debuted in 1993 in New York to overwhelming praise, and has been recognized as “a pianist from music’s leading edge” (The New York Times), and “one of the greatest interpreters of new music” (American Record Guide), time-and-again receiving “Best of the Year” distinctions from the nation’s most prominent music critics (Boston Globe, 1997-2002, Washington Post, 2005). She has been presented by Carnegie Hall, the Smithsonian Institute, the Theâtre Bouffe du Nord and at concert halls in the U.S., France, Australia, Italy, Denmark and around the world. Prominent composers who have written for her include Milton Babbitt, Mario Davidovsky, Michael Finnissy and David Rakowski. Nonken plays with Ensemble 21 (the New Music group for which she is artistic director and co-founder), the Group for Contemporary Music and Elison (Sydney).
Nonken studied with David Burge at the Eastman School, and received her Ph.D. degree in musicology from Columbia University. She has been published in Perspectives of New Music, Agni, Current Musicology and the Journal of the Institute for Studies in American Music. She also guest edited “Performers on Performance,” a special issue of Contemporary Music Review.