Marilyn Nonken

Director Piano Studies, Associate Professor Music and the PerformingArts Professions

Marilyn Nonken

Phone: 212.998.5612

Upon her New York recital debut, Marilyn Nonken was heralded as "a determined protector of important music" (New York Times). Since then, she has been recognized a "one of the greatest interpreters of new music" (American Record Guide). In 2015, Fanfare proclaimed: “Her voicings are exquisite, her pedaling throughout is a model to be studied, and, when necessary, her virtuosity is equaled only by the insight and passion with which every piece is imbued.”

Her performances have been presented at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Miller Theatre, the Guggenheim Museum, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Roulette, the Neue Galerie, and Great Music at St. Bart’s (New York); IRCAM, Reid Hall, and the Théâtre Bouffe du Nord (Paris), the ABC (Melbourne), Instituto Chileno-Norteamericano (Santiago), Music Gallery (Toronto), Phillips Collection, and Menil Collection, and conservatories and universities around the world. Festival appearances include Résonances and the Festival d'Automne (Paris), Aspects des Musiques d'Aujourd-hui (Caen), Festival Messiaen au Pays de la Meije (Hautes-Alpes), When Morty Met John, Making Music at Carnegie Hall, Works and Process, and Composers Now (New York), American Sublime (Philadelphia), The Festival of New American Music (Sacramento), Musica Nova (Helsinki), ATEMPO (Caracas), New Music Days (Ostrava), Musikhøst (Odense), Music on the Edge (Pittsburgh), Piano Festival Northwest (Portland), Unruly Music (Milwaukee), and the William Kapell International Piano Festival and Competition.

Her repertoire comprises the complete piano music of Schoenberg, Boulez, and Murail, as well as works by pioneers of the New York School, New Complexity, and spectral music. Her nearly 30 CD releases include Morton Feldman: Triadic Memories (Mode), Voix Voilées: Spectral Music for Piano and Tristan Murail: Complete Piano Music (Metier), Olivier Messiaen: Visions de l’Amen (Bridge), and Jason Eckardt: Subject (Tzadik). She has collaborated with composers associated with the spectral attitude, such as Tristan Murail, Hugues Dufourt, Jonathan Harvey, and Michael Levinas, and composers who have written for her include Drew Baker, Richard Carrick, Jason Eckardt, Joshua Fineberg, Michael Finnissy, Elizabeth Hoffman, Michael Kuehn, Arlene Sierra, Christopher Trapani, and Nina C. Young.

She has recorded more than 30 discs for New World Records, Mode, Hanging Bell, Lovely Music, Albany, Metier, Divine Art, Innova, CRI, BMOP Sound, New Focus, Kairos, Tzadik, and Bridge. Solo recordings include "American Spiritual," a CD of works written for her, “Morton Feldman: Triadic Memories,” “Tristan Murail: The Complete Piano Music,” “Stress Position: The Complete Piano Music of Drew Baker," and "Voix Voilees: Spectral Music for Piano." She appears as concerto soloist in David Rakowski's Piano Concerto, Roger Reynolds's “The Angel of Death," and Jason Eckardt's "Trespass."

A student of David Burge at the Eastman School, Marilyn Nonken received a Ph.D. in musicology from Columbia University. Her writings have been published in Tempo, Perspectives of New Music, Contemporary Music Review, Agni, Current Musicology, Ecological Psychology, the Journal of the Institute for Studies in American Music, Music and Medicine, and the Journal of Hand Therapy. She has contributed chapters to “Perspectives on the Performance of French Piano Music," “Messiaen Perspectives 2: Techniques, Influence, and Reception” (both Ashgate), and the forthcoming "Oxford Handbook of Spectral Music." Her monograph, "The Spectral Piano: From Liszt, Scriabin, and Debussy to the Digital Age" (Cambridge) was published in 2014. Marilyn Nonken is a Steinway Artist.