La Monte Young


La Monte Thornton Young is an American avant-garde composer, musician, and artist. Young is generally recognized as the first minimalist composer. His works have been included among the most important and radical post-World War II avant-garde, experimental, and contemporary music. Young is especially known for his development of drone music.… Read More

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News + Updates

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of La Monte Young.


1935 Birth Born on October 14, 1935.


1958 22 Years Old 1 More Event
He undertook further studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he received a BA in 1958, then at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1958 to 1960. … Read More
1959 23 Years Old When Young visited Darmstadt in 1959, he encountered the music and writings of John Cage. … Read More
When Young moved to New York in 1960, he had already established a reputation as an enfant terrible of the avant-garde. … Read More
1962 26 Years Old In 1962 Young wrote The Second Dream of the High-Tension Line Stepdown Transformer. … Read More
1964 28 Years Old In 1964 the ensemble comprised Young and Zazeela, John Cale and Tony Conrad (a former Harvard mathematics major), and sometimes Terry Riley (voices). … Read More


1966 30 Years Old Young and Zazeela's first continuous electronic sound environment was created in their loft on Church Street, NYC in September 1966 with sine wave generators and light sources designed to produce a continuous installation of floating sculptures and color sources, and a series of slides entitled "Ornamental Lightyears Tracery". … Read More
1970 34 Years Old Beginning in 1970 interests in Asian classical music and a wish to be able to find the intervals he had been using in his work led Young to pursue studies with Pandit Pran Nath. … Read More
1974 38 Years Old Young considers The Well-Tuned Piano—a permuting composition of themes and improvisations for just-intuned solo piano—to be his masterpiece. Young gave the world premiere of The Well-Tuned Piano in Rome in 1974, ten years after the creation of the piece. … Read More
1975 39 Years Old In 1975, Young premiered it in New York with eleven live performances during the months of April and May.


1981 45 Years Old As of October 25, 1981, the date of the Gramavision recording of The Well-Tuned Piano, Young had performed the piece 55 times.


1987 51 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1987, Young performed the piece again as part of a larger concert series that included many more of his works.


1996 60 Years Old Bowery Electric dedicated the song "Postscript" on the 1996 album Beat to Young and Riley. … Read More
2002 66 Years Old In 2002, Young, along with Marian Zazeela, and senior disciple Jung Hee Choi founded the Just Alap Raga Ensemble. … Read More
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