Curator's Statement

Welcome to John Cage Unbound: A Living Archive, presented by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, in collaboration with The John Cage Trust and music publisher C. F. Peters. We invite you to participate in the creation of a video archive documenting the musical work of one of the 20th century’s most significant composers. We want to inspire and engage you with John Cage’s unique vision of music and its role in the world. In doing so, we hope to advance our knowledge of Cage and his work by sparking a global conversation among musicians, artists, and creative thinkers.

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is home to the John Cage Music Manuscript Collection, which includes the autograph manuscripts of nearly all of Cage's musical works, as well as sketches and other pre-compositional materials, a sampling of which can be found on this website. As such, we hope to be a resource for you as you prepare your own contributions to this exciting project.

— Jonathan Hiam, curator of American Music and The Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts