Marilyn Nonken

Marilyn Nonken

Upon her recital debut, pianist Marilyn Nonken was recognized as “a determined protector of important music” (New York Times). Since then, she has become a sought-after interpreter of 20th-and 21st-century music noted for transcendent performances: “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.” (Fanfare) Her discography reveals a wide-ranging musical sensibility, including composers associated with spectral music, the New Complexity, the New York School, and ragtime, and she has toured with Charles Ives’s “Concord” Sonata, as well as the complete piano music of Arnold Schönberg, Pierre Boulez, and Ruth Crawford Seeger. A Steinway artist, she records for New World, Mode, Lovely Music, Albany, Metier, Divine Art, Hanging Bell, Harrison House, Innova, CRI, BMOP Sound, New Focus, Kairos, Tzadik, and Bridge, and is the grateful dedicatee of works by composers such as Nina C. Young, Michael Finnissy, Liza Lim, Tristan Murail, Christopher Trapani, and David Rakowski.

After attending the Eastman School of Music, she received a Ph.D. in musicology from Columbia University. Her monograph The Spectral Piano: From Liszt, Scriabin & Debussy to the Digital Age (Cambridge, 2015) was received as “a screaming success” (Bob Gilmore, Tempo), and Identity and Diversity in New Music: The New Complexities (Routledge, 2019) received similar acclaim.

Professor of Music and Music Education at New York University’s Steinhardt School, Marilyn lives on New York’s historic Lower East Side with her husband, two children, and three cats, steps away from 326 Monroe Street, where John Cage and Morton Feldman rented walk-up apartments in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge.

Jason Eckardt: Out of Chaos (mode 137)
Morton Feldman: Marilyn Nonken plays Triadic Memories (mode 136);  Vol. 14: Complete Music for Cello & Piano (mode 340/41)
Roger Reynolds: Epigram and Evolution: Complete Piano Works (mode 212/213)

Ensemble 21 Profile

Marilyn Nonken on the web