Philip Corner (b. 1933 in New York City, New York, USA, lives and works in Reggio Emilia, Italy) is an American interdisciplinary composer, artist, and writer. As a performer of New Music, he made multifaceted use of classical instruments of Western cultures as well as those peculiar to the Balinese-Javanese Gamelan tradition. Corner’s time in Korea during military service influenced a later fascination with the harmonies of traditional Korean music as well as calligraphy studies with Kim Ki-sung, inspiring his renowned calligraphic scores. Back in New York, he met George Maciunas and, from 1961 onwards, participated in numerous Fluxus concerts, exhibitions, and festivals. Corner is the author of the score for Piano Activities, the legendary premiere of which was presented at the Fluxus Internationale Festspiele Neuester Musik Festival in Wiesbaden in 1962. Corner’s original score was unrestricted but coherent, providing for the manipulation of the instrument and its strings; the performers interpreted the instructions with exaggeration, tearing apart the grand piano with rough noises of destruction and subsequently auctioning off the pieces to the audience. Through Alison Knowles, Corner met Francesco Conz in Asolo, initiating a prolific, lasting partnership. Such collaborations with Conz and Pari & Dispari motivated Corner’s retirement from professorship, after which he relocated to Reggio Emilia, Italy. In addition to performing internationally and having an extensive discography, his scores and poetic works are part of international collections, including those of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Virtual Museum of Avant-Garde based in Zagreb, Croatia.

Artworks (39)