Philip Corner, USA | b. 1933

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(1967, A Great Bear Pamphlet, Something Else Press)

Corner, Philip (b. April 10, 1933, New York City). American composer, now resident in Italy, of interdisciplinary works that have been performed throughout the world; he is also active as a performer, visual artist and writer.

Mr. Corner studied composition with Mark Brunswick and musicianship and piano with Fritz Jahoda at the City College of New York, where he earned his BA in 1955, and composition with Henry Cowell and Otto Luening at Columbia University, where he earned his MA in 1959. He also studied analysis with Olivier Messiaen at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris from 1955-57, where he earned a deuxième prix, and studied piano privately with Dorothy Taubman in New York from 1961-75.

He was drafted into the US Army in 1959 and shipped to South Korea in 1960-61, where he introduced music by himself, as well as John Cage, Olivier Messiaen, Wallingford Riegger, Anton Webern, and other composers. While there, he also studied calligraphy with Ki-sung Kim. He has participated in various concerts, exhibitions and festivals with the name Fluxus since 1961.

As a performer of new music, he has been active as a pianist, trombonist and vocalist and has also played Alphorn and various natural objects, including resonant metals. He served as a resident composer and musician to the Judson Dance Theatre in New York from 1962-64. With Malcolm Goldstein and James Tenney, he co-founded the Tone Roads Chamber Ensemble in 1963, a new music group that performed until 1970. He co-founded with Julie Winter the music-ritual ensemble Sounds out of Silent Spaces in 1972 and with Barbara Benary and Daniel Goode Gamelan Son of Lion in 1976 and often played with both, as well as with the Experimental Intermedia Foundation in New York.

He is featured in the book The Four Suits (1966, Something Else Press) and an overview of his life and work is presented in the book LifeWork: A Unity (1991-93, Frog Peak). As a writer, he has written numerous articles, essays and poems, and his major publications include the book I Can Walk through the World as Music (1966, unpublished; 1980, Printed Editions).

He taught secondary subjects at the New Lincoln School in New York from 1966-72, gave courses on analysis of new music and experimental composition at the New School for Social Research from 1967-70 and taught music theory, new music and world music at Rutgers University from 1972-92. In addition, he taught piano privately in New York from 1962-68.

He has also used the Korean name Gwan Pok – Contemplating Waterfall on occasion. He is married to the dancer Phoebe Neville, with whom he has often collaborated, and has lived in Italy since 1992.

Frog Peak Music distributes all of his music that is currently available.