A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

John Cage

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January 14, 1910: Arnold Schoenberg’s (35) Das Buch der hängenden Gärten op.15, to words of Stefan George, is performed for the first time, in Vienna. Also on the program is the premiere of Schoenberg’s Three Piano Pieces op.11, the fourth of his Four Songs op.2 to words of Schlaf, and excerpts from the unfinished Gurre-Lieder in a reduction for two pianos-eight hands which Schoenberg entrusted to Anton von Webern (26). The success of these excerpts prompts Schoenberg to finish the work.  The pianist for the op.11 is Richard Bühlig who in 1933 will become the first music teacher of John Cage.
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September 5, 1912: 05:00 John Milton Cage, Jr. is born in Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, California, USA, the third and only surviving child of John Milton Cage, an inventor, and Lucretia Harvey, an amateur pianist.
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January 26, 1915: A patent for a submarine is granted to John Cage, Sr., father of the composer (2).
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July 16, 1933: Nicholas Slonimsky conducts Ionisation by Edgard Varèse (49) at the Hollywood Bowl. In the audience is a fascinated Californian named John Cage (20).
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October 1, 1934: Henry Cowell (37) begins teaching a course entitled “Primitive and Folk Origins of Music” at the New School for Social Research in New York. Among his students is John Cage (22).
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December 15, 1934: Henry Cowell (37) drives from New York to Los Angeles with his student, John Cage (22).
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December 30, 1934: Henry Cowell (37) writes to his stepmother from Los Angeles, “...am organizing [new music] society here thru John Cage (22).”
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March 18, 1935: John Cage (22) begins studies with Arnold Schoenberg (60) in Los Angeles.
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June 7, 1935: 05:00 John Cage (22) marries Xenia Andreevna Kashevaroff, originally from Juneau, the daughter of a Russian Orthodox priest and an artist, in Yuma, Arizona.
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June 18, 1936: In Los Angeles, John Cage (23) writes an encouraging letter to Henry Cowell (39).
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July 2, 1938: Music for an Aquatic Ballet by John Cage (23) is performed for the first time, at the University of California at Los Angeles.
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October 7, 1938: Bonnie Bird gives a lecture-demonstration created by Nellie Cornish at the Cornish school in Seattle.  Student dancers Dorothy Herrmann and Merce Cunningham are accompanied by John Cage (26).  It is the first of many times he accompanies them, which makes him well-known to the Seattle art world.
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November 10, 1938: Metamorphosis for piano by John Cage (26) is performed in Seattle by the composer, perhaps for the first time.
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December 9, 1938: John Cage (26) gives his first percussion concert at the Cornish School of Music, Seattle. Trio for three percussionists is performed, probably for the first time.
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March 24, 1939: Imaginary Landscape no.1 by John Cage (26) for muted piano, cymbal, and two variable speed turntables, is performed for the first time, in Seattle to accompany Jean Cocteau’s Marriage at the Eiffel Tower. The work is produced in two studios by the composer, his wife Xenia, Doris Dennison, and Margaret Janson, and broadcast to the theatre. It is, perhaps, the first electroacoustic composition. Also premiered is Henry Cowell’s (42) music for the same play.
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May 19, 1939: Four works for percussion are performed for the first time at the Cornish School in Seattle conducted by John Cage (26): Pulse and Return, both by Henry Cowell (42) and Lou Harrison’s (22) Fifth Simfony and Counterdance in the Spring.
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December 9, 1939: First Construction (In Metal) for six percussionists by John Cage (27) is performed for the first time, at the Cornish School of Music, Seattle.
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February 14, 1940: Second Construction for four percussionists by John Cage (27) is performed for the first time, at Reed College in Portland, Oregon.
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February 18, 1940: At a meeting of the Seattle Artists League, John Cage (27) delivers his lecture “What next in American art?” When published, it will be called, “The Future of Music: Credo.”
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April 28, 1940: John Cage’s (27) first composition for prepared piano, the ballet Bacchanale, is performed for the first time, at the Cornish School in Seattle by the composer.
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May 7, 1940: Music for several dances by John Cage (27) is performed for the first time, at the Cornish School in Seattle: America was Promises for speaker and piano four hands to words of MacLeish, Four Songs of the Moment for piano, Spiritual for piano, and Imaginary Landscape no.2 for variable frequency turntables, string piano, and percussion.
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July 18, 1940: John Cage (27) gives an important all-percussion concert at Mills College, Oakland, featuring his own music, as well as that of Henry Cowell (43) and others. Among the performers are Lou Harrison (23), Cage, and his wife Xenia.
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January 29, 1941: John Cage (28) begins teaching an extension course in percussion at Mills College in Oakland.
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May 14, 1941: Third Construction for four percussionists by John Cage (28) is performed for the first time, in San Francisco conducted by the composer. Among the performers are Lou Harrison and the composer’s wife. Also premiered are Lou Harrison’s Song of Quetzalcoatl and Simfony #13, both for four percussionists, on the composer’s 24th birthday. The two combine on a piece called Double Music for percussion. The concert is organized entirely by Cage and Harrison.
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July 5, 1941: Edgard Varèse (57) sends a telegraph to John Cage (28) and Lou Harrison (24) asking them not to use the term “organized sound” on their recording of Harrison’s Simfony #13. Varèse claims authorship of the term. The two can not comply as the recording is already being produced.
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October 16, 1941: John Cage (29) moves from Oakland, California to Chicago.
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March 1, 1942: Imaginary Landscape no.3 for audio-frequency oscillators, variable speed turntables, electric buzzer, amplified marimba, amplified wire, Balinese gongs, and tin cans, by John Cage (29) is performed for the first time, at the Arts Club of Chicago, conducted by the composer.
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May 7, 1942: Fourth Construction for percussion quintet by John Cage (29) is performed for the first time, at the Holloway Playhouse in the Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco. It is now known as Imaginary Landscape no.2 (March). Also premiered are two works by Lou Harrison (24): Canticle #3 for ocarina, percussion, and guitar, and In Praise of Johnny Appleseed for percussion and wooden flute.
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May 31, 1942: Kenneth Patchen’s radio play The City Wears a Slouch Hat with music by John Cage (29) is broadcast for the first time, over the airwaves of WBBM originating in Chicago. The composer conducts.
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August 1, 1942: Credo in Us for four performers by John Cage (39) is performed for the first time, at Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont. It is for dances by Merce Cunningham and Jean Erdman.
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October 20, 1942: Totem Ancestor for prepared piano by John Cage (30) is performed for the first time, in Humphrey-Weidman Studio Theatre in New York to accompany a dance by Merce Cunningham.  The program of 1 August is repeated.
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January 16, 1943: Four Dances (What So Proudly We Hail) for tenor, prepared piano, and percussion by John Cage (30) is performed for the first time, at the Central High School of Needle Trades in New York.
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February 7, 1943: John Cage (30) and his music gain national attention when he directs a program of percussion music at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in a League of Composers concert. Included is the premiere of Amores for two prepared pianos and two percussion trios. Also premiered is Ostinato pianissimo by Henry Cowell (45) conducted by Cage.
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February 14, 1943: Three works for prepared piano by John Cage (30) are performed for the first time, at the Arts Club of Chicago by the composer to dances of Merce Cunningham: In the Name of the Holocaust, Ad Lib, and Shimmera.
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March 5, 1943: The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs for voice and piano by John Cage (30) to words of Joyce is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Recital Hall, New York.
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April 5, 1944: Several works for prepared piano by John Cage (31) are performed for the first time, at the Studio Theatre, New York to dances by Merce Cunningham: The Perilous Night, Tossed as it is Untroubled, Root of an Unfocus, Spontaneous Earth, The Unavailable Memory of, Triple-Paced No.2. It is the first complete evening of Cage/Cunningham collaborations. The press reaction to his music is so hostile, Cage begins to question whether self-expression is a viable reason for producing art.
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August 22, 1944: Four Walls for piano and voice by John Cage (31) is performed for the first time, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
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January 9, 1945: Experiences I for two pianos by John Cage (32) is performed for the first time, at the Hunter College Playhouse, New York.
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January 21, 1945: A Book of Music for two prepared pianos by John Cage (32) is performed for the first time, at the New School for Social Research in New York.
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January 22, 1945: A review of yesterday’s concert of music by John Cage (32) by Virgil Thomson (48) appears in the New York Herald Tribune. Thomson is effusive in his praise, calling Cage a genius. “His work represents...not only the most advanced methods now in use anywhere, but original expression of the very highest poetic quality.”
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June 17, 1945: Lou Harrison (28) and John Cage (32) attend a concert in Town Hall, New York of compositions by Alan Hovhaness (34). They are both surprised at the music, how beautiful it is with so few materials, drones and a melody. After the performance, Harrison meets Hovhaness and writes a review for the New York Herald Tribune. Hovhaness will recall, “Lou gave me the first good review I ever had.”
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April 14, 1946: The first four of the Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano by John Cage (33) are performed for the first time, in Town Hall, New York.
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November 25, 1946: Xenia Kashevaroff Cage appears in court in Idaho, asking for a divorce from John Cage (34), claiming abandonment. Cage, in New York, has already agreed to the divorce.
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May 18, 1947: The Seasons, a ballet by John Cage (34), is performed for the first time, in the Ziegfeld Theatre, New York. The dance is by Merce Cunningham, costumes and scenery by Isamu Noguchi.
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January 24, 1948: Eight sonatas and four interludes from Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano by John Cage (35) are performed for the first time, in McMillin Theatre of Columbia University. The program is moderated by Virgil Thomson (51).
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February 28, 1948: John Cage (35) gives a lecture at Vassar College entitled “A Composer’s Confessions” wherein he mentions his idea of writing a silent composition of anywhere from three to four-and-a-half minutes. He will sell it to the Muzak Company.
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April 3, 1948: John Cage (35) makes his first visit to Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Here he will perform music to accompany dances by Merce Cunningham.
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April 6, 1948: Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano by John Cage (35) is performed completely for the first time, at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. See 11 January 1949.
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April 23, 1948: Dreams that Money Can Buy, a film with music by Darius Milhaud (55), John Cage (35) and David Diamond (33), is released in the United States. It was shown at the Venice Film Festival last September.
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August 14, 1948: John Cage (35) produces a performance of Erik Satie’s (†23) The Ruse of Medusa at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Buckminster Fuller plays Medusa, while Merce Cunningham plays a mechanical monkey. The set is created by Willem de Kooning while his daughter plays Medusa’s daughter. The director is Arthur Penn. Cage plays the music.
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August 20, 1948: Three works for piano by John Cage (35) are performed for the first time, at Black Mountain College, North Carolina: In a Landscape for a dance by Louise Lippold, and Orestes and Suite for Toy Piano, both to dances by Merce Cunningham.
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January 12, 1949: Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano by John Cage (36) is performed for the first time at an important venue, in Carnegie Recital Hall, New York. Parts of this were performed as early as 1946. See 6 April 1948.
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March 23, 1949: John Cage (36) leaves New York on a ship for Amsterdam.
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April 10, 1949: The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowships are announced, including ones for John Cage (36), Samuel Barber (39), Peter Mennin (25), Leon Kirchner (30), and Robert Ward (31).
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May 13, 1949: John Cage (36) receives a grant from the National Institute of Arts and Letters for his work with percussion and the invention [sic] of the prepared piano.
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June 7, 1949: At the invitation of Olivier Messiaen (40), to whom he had been introduced by Pierre Boulez (24), John Cage (36) performs his Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano to Messiaen’s students at the Salle Gounod of the Paris Conservatoire.
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June 17, 1949: John Cage (36) performs his Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano at the Paris salon of Suzanne Tézenas, with introductory remarks by Pierre Boulez (24).
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January 17, 1950: John Cage (37) writes to Pierre Boulez (24), “I am starting a society called “Capitalists Inc” (so that we will not be accused of being communists); everyone who joins has to show that he has destroyed not less than 100 disks of music or one sound recording device; also everyone who joins automatically becomes President.” (Nattiez, 50-51)
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January 26, 1950: Today or tomorrow, Morton Feldman (24) speaks to John Cage (37) for the first time, in the lobby of Carnegie Hall at a concert where Webern’s (†4) Symphony is performed. Cage invites Feldman to his apartment. Within days, Feldman arrives bearing his String Quartet. Cage is very encouraging.
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August 12, 1950: String Quartet in Four Parts by John Cage (37) is performed for the first time, at Black Mountain College, North Carolina.
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September 23, 1950: Daisetz Taitaro Suzuki arrives at the Union Theological Seminary in New York to give lectures under a Rockefeller Foundation grant. He will have a major influence on the work of John Cage (38).
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December 18, 1950: David Tudor plays the American premiere of the Piano Sonata no.2 by Pierre Boulez (25) in New York. John Cage (38) turns pages.
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December 31, 1950: John Cage (38) attends a New Year’s Eve dinner at the home of Alan Watts in New York. Also there are Joseph Campbell, Jean Erdman, and Doña Luisa Coomaraswamy. They discuss Asian philosophy well into the night.
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January 17, 1951: Projection 2 for flute, trumpet, violin, cello, and piano by Morton Feldman (25) is performed for the first time, in Millbrook, New York. Also premiered is Sixteen Dances for flute, trumpet, percussion, violin, cello, and piano by John Cage (38). Feldman conceived of his Projection series, and the graphic score, at dinner with John Cage and David Tudor in Cage’s Manhattan apartment last month.
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February 9, 1951: John Cage (38) delivers his Lecture on Something at The Club, a regular meeting of artists in Philip Pavia’s Manhattan loft apartment. It is dedicated to Morton Feldman (25).
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April 8, 1951: John Cage (38) meets Earle (24) and Carolyn Brown for the first time, in Denver.
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May 10, 1951: Imaginary Landscape no.4 for twelve radios by John Cage (38) is performed for the first time, in the McMillin Theatre of Columbia University, New York. The radios are borrowed from the G. Schirmer music shop on 43rd Street. As it is at the end of a lengthy program, the work does not go on until midnight, when many radio stations have signed off.
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July 5, 1951: Music of Changes part 1 for piano by John Cage (38) is performed for the first time, at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Also premiered are Two Intermissions and Intermission 3 for piano by Morton Feldman (25), and For Prepared Piano by Christian Wolff (17). Earle (24) and Carolyn Brown are in the audience. During his stay in Denver, Tudor will introduce the Browns to Joseph Campbell and Jean Erdman. In a few weeks, the Browns will be in New York visiting Cage. “In a single afternoon and evening, prefaced by our two meetings in Denver, I’d made John Cage my guru and probably my hero as well.” (Larson, 208) See 1 January 1952.
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December 9, 1951: The first of the Two Pastorales for prepared piano by John Cage (39) is performed for the first time, at the 92nd Street Y, New York, to a dance by Merce Cunningham. See 10 February 1952.
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January 1, 1952: Music of Changes for piano by John Cage (39) is performed completely for the first time, in the Cherry Lane Theatre, New York. Also premiered is Morton Feldman’s (25) Intersections 2 for piano. See 5 July 1951.
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January 18, 1952: Imaginary Landscape no.5 for any 42 recordings, “the score to be realized as a magnetic tape”, by John Cage (39), is performed for the first time, in the Hunter College Playhouse, New York for the dance Portrait of a Lady. It was composed six days ago in the space of 18 hours. Morton Feldman’s (26) piano work Nature Pieces is premiered for the dance Changing Woman.
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February 10, 1952: Two Pastorales for prepared piano by John Cage (39) is performed completely for the first time, in the Cherry Lane Theatre, New York. Also premiered are Fugue for David Tudor for piano by Lou Harrison (34), Intermission 4 and Intermission 5 for piano by Morton Feldman (26), Three Pieces for Piano by Earle Brown (25), and For Piano (I) by Christian Wolff (17). It is the first complete performance of Feldman’s Intermissions 1-5. See 5 July 1951 and 9 December 1951.
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March 14, 1952: John Cage (39) delivers his Lecture on Nothing at The Club in Manhattan. See 9 February 1951.
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March 27, 1952: In the Concert Hall of the Juilliard School of Music in New York, John Cage (39) first reads the “Juilliard Lecture.”
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May 2, 1952: Water Music for pianist by John Cage (39) is performed for the first time, at the New School for Social Research, New York. Also premiered is Extensions 3 for piano by Morton Feldman (26).
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August 16, 1952: At Black Mountain College in North Carolina, what may be the first “happening” takes place. Francine du Plessix Gray notes in her diary, “At eight thirty tonight John Cage mounted a stepladder and until 10:30 he talked about the relation of music to Zen Buddhism while a movie was shown, dogs ran across the stage barking, 12 persons danced without any previous rehearsal, a prepared piano was played, whistles blew, babies screamed, Edith Piaf records were played double-speed on a turn-of-the-century machine.” (Larson, 252-253) David Tudor played the prepared piano. Robert Rauschenberg was in charge of the Piaf records. His “White Paintings” hang above the stage. Merce Cunningham danced while being chased by a dog. This will later be called Theatre Piece #1 (probable date)
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August 29, 1952: 4’ 33” for any instrument or instruments by John Cage (39) is performed for the first time, in Maverick Concert Hall, Woodstock, New York. At a question period after the lengthy concert, this work received heated disapproval from the audience, one artist exclaiming, “Good people of Woodstock, let’s drive these people out of town.”
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November 22, 1952: WDR in Cologne broadcasts First Construction and Second Construction by John Cage (40). It helps to make Cage’s music better known in Europe.
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November 27, 1952: One of the first German radio programs on the music of John Cage (40) is broadcast over NWDR.
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March 22, 1953: Williams Mix for eight single-track or four double-track tapes by John Cage (40) is performed for the first time, in a private setting at the University of Illinois, Urbana. Also premiered is Perspectives for piano by Earle Brown (26).
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June 23, 1953: Music for Piano 4-19 by John Cage (40) is performed for the first time, at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, to a dance by Merce Cunningham.
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December 27, 1953: John Cage’s (41) “Manifesto on Painting of Bob Rauschenberg” appears in the New York Herald Tribune.
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January 10, 1954: Music for Piano 2 by John Cage (41) is performed for the first time, in New York.
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April 9, 1954: John Cage writes to Helen Wolff (the mother of Christian Wolff (20)) about his composition 4’33”, “What we hear is determined by our own emptiness, our own receptivity; we receive to the extent we are empty to do so.” “I also consulted the I-Ching after receiving your letter and got Exhaustion (47). 4’33” is also a matter of consultation. Each person present will receive his own hexagram.”
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April 14, 1954: Twenty-five Pages for 1-25 pianos by Earle Brown (27) is performed for the first time, in Carl Fischer Hall, New York. On the same program is the New York premiere of John Cage’s (41) 4’33” . During the intermission, Cage’s mother asks Brown, “Now Earle, don’t you think that John has gone too far this time?”
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October 2, 1954: John Cage (42) and David Tudor sail from New York aboard the Massdam bound for a European tour. Cage carries the newly finished scores of 34’ 46.776” and 31’ 57.9864” both for prepared piano.
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October 3, 1954: The Massdam collides with the French ship Tofevo and is forced to return to New York. Within a few days, John Cage (42) and David Tudor will be part of a sit-down protest, demanding that Holland America Line provide for their transport to Europe. The line gives in and charters a KLM plane to transport 60 “hardship cases” (among them Cage and Tudor) to Amsterdam.
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October 17, 1954: 34’ 46.776” and 31’ 57.9865” for a pianist (prepared piano) by John Cage (42) are performed for the first time, in the Festhalle, Donaueschingen by David Tudor and the composer. Also premiered is Morton Feldman’s (28) Intersection for Magnetic Tape. The audience is largely confused, some laughing, some shouting. It is the first time Cage and Tudor perform in Europe.
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October 19, 1954: Studie I & II no.3 for electronic sound generators by Karlheinz Stockhausen (26) are performed for the first time, in the Funkhaus, Cologne, in an all-electronic/serial concert over the airwaves of West German Radio. Also premiered is Seismogramme by Henri Pousseur (25). Earlier in the day, Stockhausen makes the acquaintance of John Cage (42) and David Tudor.
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April 20, 1955: Two Pieces for Two Pianos by Morton Feldman (29) is performed for the first time, in Sanders Theater of Harvard University by John Cage (42) and David Tudor.
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October 15, 1955: Music for Piano 21-36; 37-52 by John Cage (43) is performed for the first time, at Clarkstown High School, New City, New York.
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March 29, 1956: Seven Haiku for piano by John Cage (43) is performed for the first time, at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.
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May 30, 1956: Several new works are performed for the first time, in Carl Fischer Hall, New York: 4 More for one or more pianos by Earle Brown (29), Structures for string quartet and Three Pieces for String Quartet by Morton Feldman (30), and Radio Music by John Cage (43)
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January 12, 1957: Winter Music for 1-20 pianists by John Cage (44) is performed for the first time, by the composer and David Tudor, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York. The work is dedicated to Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns.
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April 30, 1957: Two works by Morton Feldman (31) are performed for the first time, in Carl Fischer Concert Hall, New York: Extensions 4 for three pianos, and Piece for Four Pianos.  Also premiered is Sonata for three pianos by Christian Wolff (23) played by David Tudor, John Cage (44), and William Masselos.
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July 24, 1957: The lecture “Alea” by Pierre Boulez (32) is read (in German) at Darmstadt. He attacks anyone engaged in chance composition, particularly John Cage (44).
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December 15, 1957: Piano (Three Hands) and Two Pianos, both by Morton Feldman (31) are performed for the first time, in Paine Hall of Harvard University by John Cage (45) and David Tudor. Also premiered is Duo for Pianists I by Christian Wolff (23).
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March 15, 1958: Two works are performed for the first time, in the music building of the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina in Greensboro: Variations I for any number of players by John Cage (45), and Intermission 6 for one or two pianos by Morton Feldman (32), performed by John Cage and David Tudor.
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May 15, 1958: A 25-year retrospective of the work of John Cage (45) takes place in Town Hall, New York organized by artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, accompanied by an exhibition of scores by Cage, along with a Rauschenberg show on another floor. The Exhibition receives critical praise. As part of the proceedings, Cage’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra is performed for the first time, conducted by the dancer, Merce Cunningham. Some audience members shout insults during the performance and attempt to halt it. At the end, voiced opinions are widely divergent, ranging from cheers and applause to laughter, boos, and abuse. Also premiered is the revised version of Cage’s Six Short Inventions for alto flute, clarinet, trumpet, violin, two violas, and cello. In the audience is a very interested Japanese composer named Toshi Ichiyanagi (25).
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May 25, 1958: Solo for Voice I by John Cage (45) is performed for the first time, in New York.
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August 8, 1958: Owing to the cancellation by Pierre Boulez (33) and the refusal of Karlheinz Stockhausen (29) to help out, John Cage (45) is asked to lecture at Darmstadt.
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August 15, 1958: John Cage (45) accepts the invitation to lecture at Darmstadt.
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September 3, 1958: Connected to his lectures at Darmstadt, John Cage (45) and David Tudor perform the European premieres of several works by Cage, Morton Feldman (32), Earle Brown (31), and the world premiere of Duo for Pianists II by Christian Wolff (24). The audience is in an uproar, mostly consisting of laughter. During these days in Darmstadt, Cage first meets Nam June Paik (26).
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September 6, 1958: John Cage (46) gives the first of three lectures at Darmstadt. This one is called “Changes.”
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September 8, 1958: John Cage (46) gives the second of three lectures at Darmstadt. This one is called “Indeterminacy.”
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September 9, 1958: John Cage (46) gives the third of three lectures at Darmstadt. This one is called “Communication.” Unlike his first two lectures, Communication appears to attack the Darmstadt school, Pierre Boulez (33), and serial composition in general, especially since the German translation of his remarks make it seem much more direct and personal. Cage will be savaged in the German press.
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September 19, 1958: Concert for Piano and Orchestra by John Cage (46) is performed twice in Cologne, once in a closed hall for recording and once before a live audience. Both readings are disrupted by the unprofessional behavior of the orchestral musicians, in the second instance urged on by the audience. Afterwards, the composer responds to these events by getting drunk.
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October 14, 1958: Music Walk for one or more pianists playing one piano, radio and/or recordings by John Cage (46) is performed for the first time, in Galerie 22, Düsseldorf. The performers are David Tudor, Cornelius Cardew (22), and the composer.
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January 5, 1959: Two new works of John Cage (46) are performed for the first time, in Rome: Aria for solo voice, and Fontana Mix for tape.
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August 14, 1959: Music for Merce Cunningham (aka For Six or Seven Players) by Christian Wolff (25) is performed for the first time, to a dance by the dedicatee, at Connecticut College for Women, New London, directed by John Cage (46).
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September 1, 1959: Luigi Nono (34) delivers the lecture “Geschichte und Gegenwart in der Musik von heute” at Darmstadt. It is seen as a personal attack on John Cage (46) and his influence in Europe.
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November 13, 1959: Hommage à John Cage for piano and tape by Nam June Paik (27) is performed for the first time, in Galerie 22, Düsseldorf. An introductory lecture is given by Gottfried Michael Koenig (33).
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December 2, 1959: LaMonte Young (24) begins a series of “Noon Concerts” for the University of California at Berkeley music department. They feature contemporary composers, including John Cage (47) and himself. Vision, a theatre and music piece by Young is performed for the first time. Musicians are separated spatially and the performance takes place in the dark. Among the performers is Terry Riley (24).
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February 24, 1960: An episode of the network game show I’ve Got a Secret is taped today, featuring a performance by John Cage (47).
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February 25, 1960: Music for Amplified Toy Pianos by John Cage (47) is performed for the first time, at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut.
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March 7, 1960: Theatre Piece for 1-8 performers by John Cage (47) is performed for the first time, in the Circle in the Square Theatre, New York.
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April 11, 1960: John Cage (47) and David Tudor perform LaMonte Young's (24) Poem for Chairs, Tables, Benches, etc. (or other sound sources) at the Living Theatre, New York.  This performance, and subsequent ones in Cologne, thrust Young's name into the hierarchy of experimental music.  See 5 January 1960.
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April 12, 1960: A show opens at the Great Jones Gallery in New York including an exhibition of scores from Fontana Mix and Music Walk by John Cage (47).
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June 15, 1960: Variations I for any number of players with any means of producing sounds by John Cage (47) is performed for the first time, in Cologne by David Tudor playing piano.
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June 15, 1960: Incidental music to Mac Low’s play The Marrying Maiden, A Play of Changes by John Cage (47) is performed for the first time, at the Living Theatre on 6th Avenue, New York.
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August 12, 1960: Solo for Voice 2 by John Cage (47) is performed for the first time, at Tanglewood, Lenox, Massachusetts, simultaneously with a performance of Concert for Piano and Orchestra.
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September 15, 1960: Cartridge Music for amplified sounds by John Cage (48) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of Radio Bremen. See 6 October 1960.
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September 24, 1960: A performance by John Cage (48), Merce Cunningham, Earle Brown (33), and others at the Teatro La Fenice during the Venice Biennale causes a near riot. One audience member, Igor Stravinsky (78), does not feel it reaches to the level of his own scandale.
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October 1, 1960: John Cage (48), Merce Cunningham, and others perform at the Hebbel Theatre in Berlin. Some in the audience go into an uproar during Cage’s Music Walk, but like Venice, the audience is strongly divided. Many curtain calls are made.
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October 6, 1960: Cartridge Music for amplified sounds by John Cage (48) is performed before a live audience for the first time, at Mary Bauermeister’s Studio in Cologne. Among the performers are Cornelius Cardew (24), Christian Wolff (26), Nam June Paik (28), and David Tudor. Simultaneously, the composer performs his Solo for Voice 2. During the premiere of Nam June Paik’s Etude for Piano, Paik suddenly rises from the piano and enters the audience, attacking Cage and Tudor, shredding Cage’s clothes with scissors, then leaving the hall. See 15 September 1960.
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October 26, 1960: Wesleyan University Press publishes the first collected thought of John Cage (48), Silence.
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March 24, 1961: Variations II for any number of players with any means of producing sounds by John Cage (48) is performed for the first time, at the New School for Social Research, New York.
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August 3, 1961: Atlas eclipticalis for any 86 instruments by John Cage (48) is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre de la Comédie Canadienne, Montreal. The work, presented by one pianist and 17 instrumentalists, is produced simultaneously with Cage’s Winter Music and conducted by the composer. Also premiered is Durations 5 for horn, vibraphone, harp, piano, violin, and cello by Morton Feldman (35). See 6 February 1964.
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September 6, 1961: In the Kongresshalle Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt, David Tudor, Kenji Kobayashi, Christoph Caskel, and Carla Henius perform a program of German premieres: Wonderful Widow of 18 Springs and 26’55.988” for pianist and string player by John Cage (49), Incidental Music by George Brecht, Canons for piano and percussion by David Behrman, Stanzas for violin and piano by Toshi Ichiyanagi (28), To Henry Flynt by LaMonte Young (25), and Envelope for violin and piano by Terry Riley (26). One audience member calls for an ambulance during Young’s piece. The crew arrives and leaves when they find Tudor on the floor, in the middle of hitting a gong 566 times. Also present is Alvin Lucier (30) who will remember Pierre Boulez (36) standing on a chair, staring down at Tudor during To Henry Flynt.
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February 2, 1962: Metapièce (Mimetics) and Mimetics (Metapièce) for keyboard by Mauricio Kagel (29) are performed for the first time, in Munich. Also performed is 27'10.554” for a percussionist by John Cage (49), presumably for the first time.
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October 24, 1962: 0’0” for any player by John Cage (50) is performed for the first time, in Tokyo by the composer. The most important part of the score reads, “IN A SITUATION PROVIDED WITH MAXIMUM AMPLIFICATION (NO FEEDBACK), PERFORM A DISCIPLINED ACTION.” For this simultaneous composition and first performance, Cage writes a manuscript. The work is dedicated to the young Japanese composer Toshi Ichiyanagi (29) and his former wife Yoko Ono.
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December 6, 1962: The mobile version of Répons for seven musicians by Henri Pousseur (33) is performed for the first time, in Brussels. The fixed version was premiered in 1960. The work is dedicated to John Cage (50).
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July 17, 1963: Variations IV by John Cage (50) is performed for the first time, at UCLA.
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September 9, 1963: Vexations for piano solo by Erik Satie (†38) is performed, possibly for the first time, in New York. The performance begins at 18:00 with a relay of ten pianists including John Cage (51), David Tudor, Christian Wolff (29), James Tenney (29), John Cale, David Del Tredici (26), and Joshua Rifkin.  Andy Warhol is in attendance and the experience has a major influence on his work.
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September 10, 1963: 12:40 Vexations concludes in New York after 840 repetitions of the piece in a non-stop relay. There are six people left in the audience. One yells “encore.” John Cage (51) will remember, “What happened was that we were very tired, naturally, after that length of time and I drove back to the country and I slept I think for, not eighteen hours and forty minutes, but I slept for, say, ten hours and fifteen minutes. I slept an unusually long period of time; and when I woke up, I felt different than I had ever felt before. And, furthermore, the environment that I looked out upon looked unfamiliar even though I had been living there. In other words, I had changed and the world had changed.” (Larson, 342)
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October 11, 1963: From Here for 16 solo voices and 20 instrumentalists by Earle Brown (36) is performed for the first time, in Town Hall, New York, conducted by the composer. Alvin Lucier (32) directs the chorus. Also premiered are several works by Morton Feldman (37): Vertical Thoughts 1 for two pianos, performed by David Tudor and John Cage (37), Vertical Thoughts 2 for violin and piano, Vertical Thoughts 3 for soprano, flute/piccolo, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, piano/celesta, violin, cello, and double bass to words of the Psalms, Vertical Thoughts 4 for piano, Vertical Thoughts 5 for soprano, tuba, percussion, celesta, and violin to words of the Psalms, and Straits of Magellan for flute, horn, trumpet, harp, electric guitar, piano, and double bass.
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November 22, 1963: United States President John Fitzgerald Kennedy is shot twice in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald (firing from a sixth floor window) as he rides through the city in an open car. He is pronounced dead at Parkland Hospital and succeeded by Lyndon Baines Johnson. Also wounded in the attack is Texas Governor John Connally. Oswald is arrested. Leonard Bernstein (45) is in a staff meeting of the New York Philharmonic, planning an upcoming Young People’s Concert when he hears the news. Those present abandon the meeting to listen to the radio.

Driving a Volkswagen bus carrying Merce Cunningham and his dance company on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, John Cage (51) pulls into a gas station and asks about all the flags at half-staff. He is informed of the day’s events.

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February 6, 1964: Atlas Eclipticalis by John Cage (51) is performed by the New York Philharmonic in New York, the first time the work is heard with the orchestration intended by the composer. Conducted by Leonard Bernstein (45), the performance is deliberately sabotaged by the musicians, who talk, toy with or destroy their microphones, play music not connected to the score, or do nothing. One-third of the audience leaves, while those remaining engage in a chorus of boos. See 3 August 1961.
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June 3, 1964: John Cage (51), David Tudor, Robert Rauschenberg, and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company depart from Kennedy Airport in New York for Paris and their first full foreign tour.
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September 10, 1964: Electronic Music for piano by John Cage (51) is performed for the first time, in Stockholm.
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October 12, 1964: Party Pieces for wind quintet by Virgil Thomson (67), Henry Cowell (67), John Cage (52), and Lou Harrison (47) is performed for the first time, in the San Francisco Tape Music Center.
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November 27, 1964: Blue Aurora for Toshi Ichiyanagi (31), a musical happening with two flutists and one percussionist by Toru Takemitsu (34), is performed for the first time, in Sogetsu Hall, Tokyo. John Cage (52) takes part.
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February 22, 1965: Trio II for piano-four hands and percussion by Christian Wolff (30) is performed for the first time, in Cambridge, Massachusetts by John Cage (52), David Tudor, and the composer.
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May 5, 1965: Rozart Mix for magnetic tape by John Cage (52) is performed for the first time, at the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts. The work is performed by the dedicatee, Alvin Lucier (33), and his students. Also premiered is Lucier’s Music for a Solo Performer. In this work, percussion instruments are activated by human brain waves.
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July 23, 1965: Variations V: 37 remarks re an audiovisual performance by John Cage (52) is performed for the first time, in Lincoln Center, New York. Among the performers are David Tudor, James Tenney (30), Robert Moog (31), Nam June Paik (33), Merce Cunningham, and the composer. Moog created antennae which make noises on the approach of dancers.
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April 27, 1966: Variations VI for electronic circuitry, microphones, radio, tape, and television by John Cage (53) is performed for the first time, in Pan American Auditorium, Washington.
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July 15, 1966: In a production of Igor Stravinsky’s (84) L’histoire du soldat at Lincoln Center, New York, conducted by Lukas Foss (43), Elliott Carter (57) plays the soldier, John Cage (53) plays the Devil, and Aaron Copland (65) is the narrator. Stravinsky, who is in the audience, tells Cage: “You are the only sensible composer I know--You don’t write any notes.”
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October 15, 1966: Variations VII for many sound sources by John Cage (54) is performed for the first time, at the 69th Regiment Armory, New York.
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June 3, 1967: Music for “Museum Event no.5” by John Cage (54) is performed for the first time, at Saint-Paul-de-Vence.
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October 15, 1967: A year from Monday: New Lectures and Writings by John Cage (55) is published by Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, Connecticut.
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November 17, 1967: MUSICIRCUS by John Cage (55) is performed for the first time, in Stock Pavilion in Urbana, Illinois, originally designed as a livestock exhibition center. There is no score. Anyone so desiring may perform anything. 5,000 people participate in a performance lasting four hours.
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March 5, 1968: Reunion by John Cage (55) is performed for the first time, in Toronto. The work consists of Marcel Duchamp and the composer playing chess. The position and movement of the chess pieces determines sounds operated by David Tudor, Gordon Mumma (32), Lowell Cross, and David Behrman.
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May 13, 1968: John Cage (55) gives a performance of his Variations II at Mills College in Oakland, California.  He begins the work by making the first move in a chess match with Lowell Cross.  The chess board is amplified and David Tudor manipulates the sounds produced by the game.  Anthony Gnazzo enters wrapped in recording tape.  Photographs are projected onto the walls.  A person climbs a ladder.  Margaritas are dispensed at a bar.  About fifty people come on stage, ask Cage for autographs, observe the equipment, and drink margaritas.  Music critics walk out en masse.  The show ends with the last move of the chess game.  A third of the audience is left.
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May 28, 1968: John Cage (55) is inducted into to the National Institute of Arts and Letters of the American Academy in New York. David Del Tredici (31) and Ned Rorem (44) receive music grants of $2,500.
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January 20, 1969: Pianist Aleksey Lubimov performs an avant-garde program at the House of Composers in Moscow. He presents works by Morton Feldman (43), Pierre Schaeffer (58), Terry Riley (33), Estonian Kuldar Sink, and Swiss composer Pierre Mariétan. As an encore he plays 4’33” by John Cage (56). It is seen as opposition to official Soviet orthodoxy and causes a scandal.
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May 16, 1969: HPSCHD for 1-7 harpsichords and 1-51 tapes by John Cage (56) and Lejaren Hiller (45) is performed for the first time, in Assembly Hall of the University of Illinois at Urbana. The production includes seven harpsichords, 51 tapes, seven film projectors, and 80 slide projectors and lasts from 19:30 until midnight. Six of the seven harpsichord parts were created using the musical dice game of Mozart (†173) and the I Ching.
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November 21, 1969: A day-long event called MEWANTEMOOSEICDAY is staged by John Cage (57) at the University of California, Davis. In different spaces the following things occurred: a performance of Erik Satie’s (†44) 18-hour piano piece Vexations, lectures by Cage, Satie’s Socrate in a two-piano reduction by Cage, Satie’s Furniture Music continuously played, and the first performance of Cage’s 33 1/3, for records, gramophones, and audience. Cage bought 300 long playing records (chosen by the record store manager) for the audience to select and play on twelve phonographs arranged around the performance space.
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January 8, 1970: Cheap Imitation for piano by John Cage (57) is performed for the first time, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York to the dance Second Hand by Merce Cunningham.
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February 4, 1970: Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel, a plexigram on eight sheets of plastic by John Cage (57), is shown for the first time, in Harcus-Krakow Gallery, Boston. See 28 June 1970.
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June 5, 1970: First Week of June by John Cage (57), David Tudor, and Gordon Mumma (34) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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June 28, 1970: The New York Times reports on the 17th National Print Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, including Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel, a plexigram on eight sheets of plastic by John Cage (57). The work was constructed using the I Ching.
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October 26, 1970: Song Books, solos for voice 3-92 by John Cage (58), are performed for the first time, in Théâtre de la Ville, Paris.
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September 21, 1971: Sixty-two Mesostics re: Merce Cunningham by John Cage (59) is performed for the first time, in Athens.
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February 1, 1972: 52/3 for piano and electronics by John Cage (59), David Tudor, and Gordon Mumma (36) is performed for the first time, in Brooklyn to a dance by Merce Cunningham.
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April 10, 1972: A service in memory Stefan Wolpe is held at The Riverside Funeral Home, Amsterdam Avenue, New York. Among the speakers are Milton Babbitt (55), John Cage (59), and Elliott Carter (63). Wolpe’s earthly remains are cremated.
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May 4, 1972: John Cage—Ghost or Monster”, by Cornelius Cardew (35) is published in the BBC magazine The Listener three weeks before Cage arrives in Britain. Cardew says that Cage’s (59) music serves the purposes of the bourgeoisie and now constitutes an “oppressive chaos resulting from the lack of planning characteristic of a capitalist system in decay.” (Piekut, 797)
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May 13, 1972: Cheap Imitation for orchestra by John Cage (59) is performed for the first time, in Amsterdam. This is called a “public rehearsal” by the composer. The musicians do so badly Cage withdraws the work from a planned performance this evening.
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July 1, 1972: John Cage (59), Lois Long, and Alexander Smith publish Mushroom Book.
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July 16, 1972: Five Pianos for five pianos, one doubling celesta, by Morton Feldman (46) is performed for the first time, in Berlin. The five pianists are John Cage (59), Cornelius Cardew (36), Frederic Rzewski (34), David Tudor, and the composer. There is a confrontation between Cage and Feldman when Cage misunderstands the instructions and plays 20 minutes beyond the other pianists.
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September 12, 1972: John Tilbury gives a performance of Cornelius Cardew’s (36) piano music in the Sale Apollinee of Teatro La Fenice, Venice. At a discussion afterwards, statements by Tilbury and Cardew about the lack of class-consciousness of the avant-garde and the parasitic nature of avant-garde composers causes a near riot among the 400 listeners. Among the audience is John Cage (60). Cardew and Tilbury survive unhurt.
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June 14, 1973: M: Writings ‘67-’72 by John Cage (60) is published by Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, Connecticut.
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November 6, 1973: Etcetera for small orchestra, tape, and three conductors by John Cage (60) is performed for the first time, in Paris. See 8 December 1986.
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August 8, 1974: John Cage (61) reads the fourth lecture of his Empty Words at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado accompanied by projections of drawings by Henry David Thoreau. After about 20 minutes, audience members begin throwing objects and coming on stage to disrupt the proceedings with various sounds of their own choosing. Cage is protected from the crowd by a group including Allen Ginsberg. A debate between Cage and the audience then ensues.
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August 9, 1974: John Cage meets with Chogyam Trungpa at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Trungpa asks Cage to join the faculty.
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September 28, 1974: Score (40 Drawings by Thoreau) and 23 Parts for any instruments by John Cage (62) is performed for the first time, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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January 25, 1975: Excerpts from Etudes Australes for piano by John Cage (62) are performed for the first time, in New York. See 25 April 1982.
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March 8, 1975: Child of Tree by John Cage (62) is performed for the first time, in Detroit by the composer.
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February 26, 1976: Lecture on the Weather for instruments, voices, tape, and film by John Cage (63) to words of Thoreau is performed for the first time, in Toronto.
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July 27, 1976: John Cage (63) attends a court session in New York which will result in the issuing of a residence permit to John Lennon.
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September 30, 1976: Two works for orchestra by John Cage (64), Renga and Apartment House 1776, are performed for the first time, simultaneously, in Boston. Renga was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra largely through the efforts of Seiji Ozawa.
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January 18, 1977: Telephones and Birds for three performers by John Cage (64) is performed for the first time, in the Minskoff Theatre, New York to a dance by Merce Cunningham.
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February 22, 1977: Sections I and II of Quartets I-VIII for 24 instruments by John Cage (64) are performed for the first time, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York conducted by Lukas Foss (54). See 31 May 1978.
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August 27, 1977: Quartets I-VIII for 41 instruments by John Cage (64) is performed for the first time, in Aptos, California. Also, Studies for Player Piano no.20, 25, 41 by Conlon Nancarrow (64) is performed publicly for the first time.
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September 10, 1977: Inlets (Improvisation II) for conch shells by John Cage (65) is performed for the first time, in Seattle to a dance by Merce Cunningham.
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November 21, 1977: 49 Waltzes for the Five Boroughs by John Cage (65) is performed for the first time, at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
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December 9, 1977: Quartets I-VIII for up to 96 instruments by John Cage (65) is performed for the first time, in the Beethovenhalle, Bonn.
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January 1, 1978: John Cage (65) begins studying intaglio techniques with Kathan Brown at Crown Point Press in Oakland, California.
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March 16, 1978: An exhibition of etchings and worksheets by John Cage (65) opens at the Carl Solway Gallery in New York.
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April 7, 1978: The second version of Variations VIII for any number of musicians using objects found at the performance place by John Cage (65) is performed for the first time, in Cologne.
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April 10, 1978: A Dip in the Lake by John Cage (65) is performed for the first time, at New York University.
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April 24, 1978: Books I and II of the Freeman Etudes for violin by John Cage (65) are performed for the first time, in the Whitney Museum, New York. See 26 June 1991.
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May 31, 1978: Quartets I-VIII for 24 instruments by John Cage (65) is performed for the first time, in St. Paul, Minnesota. See 22 February 1977.
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September 21, 1978: Chorals for violin by John Cage (66) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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October 5, 1978: Letter to Erik Satie 2 (†53) by John Cage (66) is performed for the first time, at City Center Theatre, New York. It is performed simultaneously with Merce Cunningham’s solo dance Tango.
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June 10, 1979: Hymns and Variations for twelve amplified voices by John Cage (66) is performed for the first time, in the Beethovenhalle, Bonn.
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October 20, 1979: Roaratorio, an Irish Circus on Finnegan's Wake by John Cage (67) to words of Joyce, is performed for the first time, in the Sternensaal, Donaueschingen. Today, Cage is awarded the Karl-Sczuka-Preis for radio art.
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October 22, 1979: Roaratorio, an Irish Circus on Finnegan's Wake by John Cage (67) to words of Joyce, is broadcast for the first time, over the airwaves of WDR, Cologne.
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February 26, 1980: Improvisation III for four or more musicians with cassette recordings by John Cage (67) is performed for the first time, in the City Center, New York.
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May 13, 1980: Furniture Music Etcetera for two pianos by John Cage (67) is performed for the first time, in Baird Hall of the State University of New York at Buffalo.
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June 30, 1980: Improvisation IV for three cassette players by John Cage (67) is performed for the first time, in Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London.
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November 8, 1980: Some of “The Harmony of Maine” for organ and 3-6 assistants by John Cage (68) is performed for the first time, in Essen at the Lutheran Church of Essen-Rellinghausen.
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November 12, 1980: The Award of the City of Philadelphia is conferred upon John Cage (68).
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January 19, 1981: John Cage (68) participates in the first live performance of his Roaratorio, an Irish Circus on Finnegan’s Wake at IRCAM in Paris.
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September 1, 1981: An exhibit of prints by John Cage (68) opens at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut.
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November 22, 1981: Thirty Pieces for Five Orchestras by John Cage (69) is performed for the first time, in Pont-à-Mousson, near Metz, France. Also premiered is Komboï for amplified harpsichord and percussion by Iannis Xenakis (59).
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March 13, 1982: For John Cage (69) for violin and piano by Morton Feldman (56) is performed for the first time, in Symphony Space, New York during a 14 hour tribute entitled Wall-to-Wall John Cage and Friends during the 70th anniversary year of his birth.
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April 25, 1982: Etudes Australes for piano by John Cage (69) is performed completely for the first time, in Witten, West Germany. Also premiered is Lebenslauf for four metronomes, percussion and piano by Alfred Schnittke (47). See 25 January 1975.
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May 10, 1982: A House Full of Music, a musicircus for students by John Cage (79) is performed for the first time, in Bremen. About 800 people take part in the premiere.
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August 22, 1982: Dance/4 Orchestras by John Cage (69) is performed for the first time, at the Cabrillo Music Festival, California.
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September 5, 1982: Fifteen Domestic Minutes by John Cage is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of National Public Radio on the composer’s 70th birthday. The work calls for two speakers and recordings played simultaneously in different radio stations. The sound is combined by a link between stations in Denver, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington.
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September 23, 1982: In the Théâtre du Rond-Point Renaud-Barrault, Paris, John Cage (70) receives a certificate of his appointment as Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Minister of Culture.
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March 19, 1983: Beachcombers, a ballet for voice, electronics, cheng, and violin by Larry Austin (52) to a choreography by Cunningham, is performed for the first time, in New York City Center. The vocal part is chanted by John Cage (70).
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April 8, 1983: Ear for EAR for voices by John Cage (70) is performed for the first time, in St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York.
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December 2, 1983: Ryoanji for oboe and percussion by John Cage (71) is performed for the first time, at the Asia Society, New York.
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January 1, 1984: The live event Good Morning Mr. Orwell by Nam June Paik (51) is broadcast simultaneously in France, West Germany, South Korea, the Netherlands, and the United States. Participating artists include John Cage (71), Laurie Anderson (36), Philip Glass (46), Allen Ginsberg, and Robert Rauschenberg.
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June 29, 1984: Souvenir for organ by John Cage (71) is given its official premiere at St. Mary’s Cathedral, San Francisco.
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July 27, 1984: Thirty Pieces for String Quartet by John Cage (71) is performed for the first time, in Darmstadt.
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August 15, 1984: Music for... for instrumental ensemble by John Cage (71) is performed for the first time, in New Milford, Connecticut.
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March 9, 1985: Haikai for flute and zoomoozophone by John Cage (72) is performed for the first time, at the Theatre of the Open Eye, New York.
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March 31, 1985: Sonnekus2 for voice by John Cage (72) is performed for the first time, in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn.
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April 19, 1985: A Collection of Rocks for chorus and orchestra by John Cage (72) is performed for the first time, in Zagreb.
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May 14, 1985: Sketchbook (for the Unbearable Lightness of Being) for low female voice accompanying herself on piano and electronic sound generators by Roger Reynolds (50) to words of Kundera is performed for the first time, in Symphony Space, New York. Also premiered is Eight Whiskus for voice by John Cage (72) to his own words after Mann.
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July 14, 1985: ASLSP for piano by John Cage (72) is performed for the first time, by contestants in the International Piano Festival and Competition at the University of Maryland.
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February 27, 1986: Improvisation A+B for voice, cello, trombone, percussion, and clarinet by John Cage (73) is performed for the first time, in the Dallas Museum of Art, the composer performing the vocal part.
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April 15, 1986: But what about the noise of crumpling paper which he used to do in order to paint the series of ‘Papiers froissés’ or tearing up paper to make ‘Papiers déchirés’? Arp was stimulated by water (sea, lake and flowing waters like rivers), forests for percussion ensemble by John Cage (73) is performed for the first time, at the University of Buffalo.
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June 8, 1986: John Cage (73) and Sun Ra give a joint performance before about 150 people at Sideshows by the Seashore at Coney Island, New York.
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November 21, 1986: Voiceless Essay for tapes by John Cage (74) is performed for the first time, in Herbst Theatre, San Francisco to a dance by Merce Cunningham.
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December 8, 1986: Etcetera, in the version for 2/4 Orchestras by John Cage (74), is performed for the first time, in Tokyo. See 6 November 1973.
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April 5, 1987: Haikai for gamelan by John Cage (74) is performed for the first time, in Toronto.
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June 12, 1987: Stratified Essay, an installation by John Cage (74), opens at the Karlskirche, Kassel.
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September 9, 1987: As part of the festivities in Los Angeles to celebrate his seventy-fifth birthday, John Cage (75) reads his valedictory speech from his 1928 high school graduation, Other People Think .
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November 12, 1987: A fire started by a homeless East German refugee causes considerable damage to the Frankfurt Opera House. Damage is estimated at DM3,500,000. The premiere of John Cage’s (75) Europeras I&II, scheduled for three days from now, must be postponed. See 12 December 1987.
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November 21, 1987: Organ2/ASLSP for organ by John Cage (75) is performed for the first time, in Metz.
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December 12, 1987: Europeras I&II by John Cage (75) are performed for the first time, at the Frankfurt Schauspielhaus. The critics are generally positive if confused. The audience is not pleased.
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February 27, 1988: One for piano by John Cage (75) is performed for the first time, in Middletown, Connecticut.
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May 22, 1988: Through the efforts of Laurel Fay, John Cage (75) and Sofia Gubaidulina (56) meet in Leningrad. Although he is unable to hear her music on this trip, Cage will compose Two2 based on his conversation with Gubaidulina.
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June 6, 1988: Five for any combinations of five voices or instruments by John Cage (75) is performed for the first time, in Witten by the composer and the Kronos Quartet.
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June 16, 1988: Five Stone for three performers by John Cage (75) is performed for the first time in Berlin. It is the first part of Five Stone Wind . See 30 July 1988.
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June 29, 1988: Four Solos for Voice by John Cage (75) is performed for the first time, in Merkin Concert Hall, New York.
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July 22, 1988: Twenty-Three for strings by John Cage (75) is performed for the first time, in Putney, Vermont.
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July 30, 1988: Five Stone Wind for three performers by John Cage (75) is performed for the first time, in the Palais de Papes, Avignon. There was a preview of this work in New York on 9 July. See 16 June 1988.
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August 6, 1988: Two for flute and piano by John Cage (75) is performed for the first time, in Gibellina, Sicily.
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October 12, 1988: John Cage (76) gives the first of his Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard University. They are entitled I-VI .
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November 18, 1988: Seven for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, viola, and cello by John Cage (76) is performed for the first time, in Boston.
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April 6, 1989: 101 for large orchestra by John Cage (76) is performed for the first time, in Symphony Hall, Boston.
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April 19, 1989: John Cage (76) gives the last of his six Charles Eliot Norton Lectures (I-VI) in Sanders Theatre of Harvard University.
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May 25, 1989: Celebrate Cage, a gala evening in honor of John Cage (76) to benefit the Cunningham Dance Foundation, takes place in the Grand Ballroom of the Pierre Hotel, New York. Several large corporations support the cause, and the evening is chaired by John Ashbery, Jasper Johns, and Seiji Ozawa.
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November 14, 1989: One3 by John Cage (77) is performed for the first time, in Kyoto, by the composer.
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November 17, 1989: Essay, an installation by John Cage (77), opens at the Wexner Center for the Visual Arts at Ohio State University.
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November 21, 1989: One2 by John Cage (77) is performed for the first time, in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England.
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November 24, 1989: Four for string quartet by John Cage (77) is performed for the first time, in Huddersfield.
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May 4, 1990: Two2 for two pianos by John Cage (77) is performed for the first time, in Cooper Union, New York.
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May 12, 1990: Fourteen for piano and chamber ensemble by John Cage (77) is performed for the first time, in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.
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June 17, 1990: Europeras 3&4 by John Cage (77) are performed for the first time, in London. The press is mixed.
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June 27, 1990: Three for three recorder players by John Cage (77) is performed for the first time, at the Speyer Cathedral.
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September 20, 1990: Scottish Circus, a musicircus based on traditional Scottish music by John Cage (78), is performed for the first time, in University Concert Hall, Glasgow.
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September 25, 1990: Seven2 for seven instruments by John Cage (78) is performed for the first time, in Erlangen.
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April 6, 1991: One5 by John Cage (78) is performed for the first time, in First Unitarian Meeting House, Madison, Wisconsin.
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April 18, 1991: Europera V by John Cage (78) is performed for the first time, at SUNY Buffalo.
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May 14, 1991: Eight for winds by John Cage (78) is performed for the first time, outside the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
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May 22, 1991: One6 for violin by John Cage (78) is performed for the first time, at the University of California at San Diego.
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June 20, 1991: Four3 by John Cage (78) is performed for the first time, in Theater 11, Zürich.
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June 26, 1991: Books III and IV of the Freeman Etudes for violin by John Cage (78) are performed for the first time, in Zürich. See 24 April 1978.
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October 25, 1991: Three2 for three percussionists by John Cage (79) is performed for the first time, in the Kitchen, New York.
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November 15, 1991: Two4 for violin and piano or sho by John Cage (79) is performed for the first time, at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington. This performance is on piano.
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November 30, 1991: Two works by John Cage (79) are performed for the first time, in Stuttgart: One8 for cello and 108 for orchestra. The two works are played simultaneously.
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December 2, 1991: One4 for percussion by John Cage (79) is performed for presumably the first time, in Merkin Concert Hall, New York.
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December 4, 1991: Lullaby for music box by John Cage (79) is performed for the first time, in Nice.
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January 18, 1992: John Cage’s (79) installation Roaratorio opens at the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen am Rhein.
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January 19, 1992: Am Horizont for violin, cello, and accordion by Wolfgang Rihm (39) is performed for the first time, in Cologne to celebrate the 60th birthday of Mauricio Kagel. Also premiered is Five2 for english horn, two clarinets, bass clarinet, and timpani by John Cage (79).
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January 30, 1992: Two5 for trombone and piano by John Cage (79) is performed for the first time, in Frankfurt-am-Main.
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February 24, 1992: Ten for flute, oboe, clarinet, trombone, percussion, string quartet, and piano by John Cage (79) is performed for the first time, in Amsterdam.
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April 22, 1992: In a Munich studio, WDR films the first performance of One11 for solo cameraman by John Cage (79).
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April 25, 1992: Inner Song for oboe, part of Trilogy by Elliott Carter (83) is performed for the first time, in the Theatersaal, Witten, Germany. Also premiered is Five4 for two saxophones and three percussionists by John Cage (79) and Duo Concertante for clarinet, cello, and eight players by Magnus Lindberg (33). See 30 June 1992.
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June 19, 1992: Six for six percussionists by John Cage (79) is performed for the first time, in The Hague.
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June 22, 1992: ONE12 for a lecturer by John Cage (79) is performed for the first time, in Perugini, Italy by the composer.
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July 23, 1992: Four6 for any way of producing sound by John Cage (79) is performed for the first time, in Central Park, New York. As part of the experience, the composer performs ONE12 . It is his last public performance.
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August 11, 1992: About 18:00 Merce Cunningham returns home to his New York apartment to find John Cage (79) unconscious on the floor from a cerebral hemorrhage. An ambulance is summoned which transports him to St. Vincent’s Hospital. He will never regain consciousness.
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August 12, 1992: 14:40 John Milton Cage, Jr. dies at Saint Vincent’s Hospital in New York, New York, USA after a stroke, aged 79 years, eleven months, and seven days.
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August 14, 1992: For J.C.—in memoriam John Cage for two performers and electronics by Olga Neuwirth (24) is performed for the first time, in Dartington.
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September 5, 1992: Twenty-Six, Twenty-Eight, and Twenty-Nine for orchestra by John Cage (†0) is performed for the first time, in the Alte Oper, Frankfurt-am-Main on the 80th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
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September 19, 1992: Two works by John Cage (†0) are performed for the first time, in Cologne: 103 for orchestra and One11 for solo cameraman. The two works are performed simultaneously.
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October 11, 1992: Fifty-eight for 58 wind players by John Cage (†0) is performed for the first time, in the Landhaushof, Graz.
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November 6, 1992: Sixty-Eight for orchestra by John Cage (†0) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of Hessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt.
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November 8, 1992: Seventy-Four for orchestra by John Cage (†0) is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Hall, New York.
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December 5, 1992: Two6 for violin and piano by John Cage (†0) is performed for the first time, in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Orléans.
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February 17, 1993: Thirteen for chamber ensemble by John Cage (†0) is performed for the first time, in the Stadthalle, Gütersloh.
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April 4, 1993: One10 for violin by John Cage (†0) is performed for the first time, at Goucher College in Baltimore.
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February 18, 1994: C-A-G-E for piano, in memory of John Cage (†1) by Tan Dun (36), is performed for the first time, in Tokyo.
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September 5, 2001: A performance of Organ2/ASLSP by John Cage (†9), intended to take 639 years to complete, begins on the organ of St. Burchardi in Halberstadt, Germany. The number 639 was arrived at by subtracting 1361, the year the Halberstadt organ was completed by Nicholaus Faber, from 2000. Today is the 89th anniversary of the composer’s birth. No sound is heard today since the opening of the piece is silent. See 5 February 2003.
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September 23, 2002: British composer Mike Batt makes a donation (reportedly in six figures) to the John Cage (†10) Trust to settle a suit by Peters Edition over Batt’s unauthorized use of Cage’s composition 4’33”. Batt hands over the check to Nicholas Riddle, managing director of Peters Edition, on the steps of the High Court in London. In the suit, Peters accused Batt of plagiarizing Cage’s music in his recorded song “A One Minute Silence.”
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February 5, 2003: After an initial 17 months of silence, the organ at St. Burchardi in Halberstadt, Germany plays the first sounds in a performance of Organ2/ASLSP by John Cage (†10) intended to take 639 years. See 5 September 2001.
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February 10, 2012: Pauline Oliveros (79) is named the recipient of the John Cage Award by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.
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September 9, 2012: Two works by Roger Reynolds (78) are performed for the first time, in the East Building Auditorium of the National Gallery of Art, Washington: OPPOrTuniTy for voice and piano and PASSAGE 7 : "John Cage – incidents, texts, conversations, and music", for piano and various media.