David Eugene Tudor (January 20, 1926 – August 13, 1996) was an American pianist and composer of experimental music.
Tudor was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He studied piano with Irma Wolpe and composition with Stefan Wolpe and became known as one of the leading performers of avant garde piano music. He gave the first American performance of the Piano Sonata No. 2 by Pierre Boulez in 1950, and a European tour in 1954 greatly enhanced his reputation. Karlheinz Stockhausen dedicated his Klavierstück VI (1955) to Tudor. Tudor also gave early performances of works by Morton Feldman, Earle Brown and La Monte Young.
The composer with whom Tudor is particularly associated is John Cage; he gave the premiere of Cage's Music of Changes, Concert For Piano and Orchestra and the notorious 4' 33". Cage said that many of his pieces were written either specifically for Tudor to perform or with him in mind, once stating "what you had to do was to make a situation that would interest him. That was the role he played.” The two worked closely together on many of Cage's pieces, both works for piano and electronic pieces, including for the Smithsonian Folkways album: Indeterminacy: New Aspect of Form in Instrumental and Electronic Music (1992). Tudor also performs on several recordings of Cage's music, including the Mainstream record of Cartridge Music, the recording on Columbia Records of Variations II, and the two Everest records of Variations IV...
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