(September 5, 1912 - August 12, 1992) U.S.A.
Classical composer and music theorist
John Cage was a gay composer, painter, and poet born in Los Angeles. A pupil of Cowell and Schoenberg, he has reassessed musical aesthetics and defines the role of music as "purposeless play". All sounds that can be heard are to be available for musical purposes, for example electrical buzzers and tin cans as used in "Imaginary Landscape No 3".
John created a new world of possibilities for music and performance. His ideas influenced many contemporary composers. He also introduced the idea of silence as music in one of his most famous pieces, "4'33'', which is 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence produced by a pianist who does not touch his piano. He also wrote a series of books published by Marion Boyars. John, a prolific composer, also achieved success with his orchestral pieces and his operas.
In 1937, John met gay dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham, with whom he collaborated in art, and whom he loved for the next 55 years. John suffered a severe stroke and he died the next morning; he was seventy-nine.