Philip Corner

Philip Corner (April 1933 – present)

Philip Corner (also known as Phil Corner) is an American composer, musician, performer, visual artist and writer. Corner is one of the most important figures in American minimalist and experimental music.

The inaugural Fluxus Festival in Wiesbaden in 1962 featured Piano Activities written by Philip Corner, which became renowned for challenging the status of the piano. It was performed by George MaciunasNam June PaikWolf VostellEmmett WilliamsBen PattersonDick Higgins, and Alison Knowles.

Piano Activities, International Festival of the Newest Music at Weisbaden Festum Fluxorum, 1962

Archivio Conz’s biography of Corner describes his music as exploring “unexpected sounds, minimalism and chance activities.”

Corner performed at numerous Fluxus events from 1961. During this time, as well as being a composer and musician, he also created calligraphies, assemblages, collages and paintings, which have been exhibited internationally.

He co-founded the Tone Roads Chamber Ensemble in 1963 along with Malcolm Goldstein and James Tenney, and Gamelan Son of Lion in 1976 with Barbara Benary and Daniel Goode. The latter ensemble is still active.



Biography (German): 

15 works online, MoMA:

Biography (German):


Biography & excerpts of music:

Biography & music samples (Lucinda’s Pastime, 1962 and Through The Mysterious Barricade):

Biography (German):

Biography & commentary on Corner’s work:





Visual exhibits:

Descriptions of music recordings:

Music recordings:

Philip Corner on Spotify:

Commentary on Corner’s music:

48 visual exhibits & photographs, Artnet:

Satie Slowly by Philip Corner: 

Description of Piano Activities by Philip Corner:

Further description of Piano Activities by Philip Corner: 

Popular Entertainments (collection of musical works) by Philip Corner:

Some Silences (1985):

Quiet Work of Destruction (Partitur), Philip Corner (1962/1963):

Visual exhibits: ​​

27 music tracks:

Comprehensive list of Corner’s compositions:

Philip Corner on SoundCloud:


Written interview with Philip Corner (August 2020):

Further resources:

‘Art + Art History Visiting Artist Lecture with Philip Corner’:

Documentary featuring Philip Corner: ‘Never Ending Stories. Der Loop in Kunst, Film, Architektur, Musik, Literatur und Kulturgeschichte’:

Fluxus in Wiesbaden, documentary film:

New Music: Sounds and Voices from the Avant-Garde, New York 1971, documentary film:

Boon, Marcus. “Philip Corner: A Long Life, Endless As the Sky.” Originally published in The Wire, now available at 

Corner, Philip. Edited by Dick Higgins. The Four Suits. New York: Something Else Press, 1965.

LifeWork: A Unity. Hanover, NH: Frog Peak Music, 1993. ——. I Can Walk Through the World as Music (first walk). Barrytown, NY: Printed Editions, 1980.

Lukoszevieze, Anton. “Philip Corner: An Introduction,” Resonance 7/1, 1998: pp. 12–17.

Zimmermann, Walter. Desert Plants: Conversations with 23 American Composers. Vancouver: ARC Publications, 1977, and Koln: Beginner’s Press, 1980.