La Monte Young

La Monte Young (October 1935 – present)

“I think that it’s the story of my life to sing onstage and die there”

– La Monte Young

“Discipline leads to freedom. After you really know what you’re doing, you can become very free with it”

– La Monte Young

La Monte Young is an American musician, artist and composer who played a central role in postwar avant-garde music. He is considered to be one of the first American minimalist composers. Young was heavily influenced by Indian music and Japanese Gagaku music. The notion of sustained sound lies at the heart of his work: complex sounds unravelling in a drawn out manner.

In 1959, Young enrolled in a summer course with Stockhausen in Darmstadt during which he was exposed to John Cage’s indeterminacy and found sounds. 

In the 1950s, Young studied composition in California before moving to New York in 1960 where he became close to George Maciunas and played a central role in the music and Fluxus art scene. Yoko Ono hosted several concerts that were organised by Young at her Chambers Street New York loft.

In 1962, Young married the visual artist Marian Zazeela. Together with Zazeela, viola player John Cale, Angus MacLise and violinist Tony Conrad – all original members of the Velvet Underground – Young formed an ensemble, which was named The Theater of Eternal Music.


Biographical information & resume:

Biography in German:



MoMA profile:

Biography (German):


Biography (German):



Sunday Morning Blues (1964):


Article on Young and Zazeela’s Dream House:

Flux-Harpsichord, 1975:

Commentary on Dream House: ​​

Image of the audience during Dream House:

Inside Dream House & recordings of Trio for Strings and The Well-Tuned Piano:

Sunday Morning Blues (1964):


Young on Stockhausen:

Young on his life:

A Conversation with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela on their musical journey:


New York Times article, July 2020: ​​


Listen to Le Monte Young’s music on Spotify: 

Listen to an excerpt from Dream House:

Audio excerpts, including The Well Tuned Piano: