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Pianist Marilyn Nonken performs
Signature Pieces, a body of work written
for her by various composers, Thursday,
October 3 at San Francisco State University


Ariane Bicho
SFSU College of Creative Arts

(415) 338-1442

(415) 338-0520


Press Release published by the College of Creative Arts and the Office of Public Affairs


SAN FRANCISCO, September 6, 2002 ó San Francisco State University presents leading-edge pianist Marilyn Nonken in a rare San Francisco performance at 8:00 pm Thursday, October 3 in Knuth Hall. A new music enthusiast known for her superb technical style and sensitive interpretations, Ms. Nonken performs Signature Pieces, a recital of works written for her. The program features A Collection of Caprices (2002), a tribute to the great jazz pianist and Pulitzer prize-winning composer Mel Powell, by Paul Nauert; Sliding Scales and Twelve-Step Program (1999-2001), witty etudes exploring the limits of keyboard virtuosity, by David Rakowski; Echoes' White Veil (1996), a work inspired by the poetry of W.S. Merwin, by Jason Eckardt, a composer trained in jazz and fascinated by the New Complexity; Allegro Penseros (1999), a vivacious, dance-like piece from the grandfather of American music and a wedding gift to Ms. Nonken, by Milton Babbitt, and Michael Finnissyís North American Spirituals (1998), a British composer's homage to the American experimental tradition of Ives, Ruggles and Cage.

Marilyn Nonken has emerged as one of the most gifted young musicians dedicated to the modern and contemporary repertoires. Upon her 1993 New York debut, she was heralded as ďa determined protector of important music,Ē by the New York Times. Ms. Nonkenís performances have been presented by Carnegie Hall, Miller Theatre, the Guggenheim Museum, Harvard, Brandeis and Columbia universities. An acclaimed chamber musician, Ms. Nonken also performs with and is artistic director of Ensemble 21, a new music group she cofounded. With a wide-ranging discography, Ms. Nonken has recorded music of composers as diverse as Salvatore Martirano, Alvin Lucier, David Rakowski and William Albright. As well, her Signature Pieces program is recorded on a new CD, American Spiritual (CRI CD 877). Ms. Nonken is a Steinway artist.

Admission and parking: Admission to the recital is free. Public parking is available at Lot 20 on the SFSU Campus, which can be accessed from Lake Merced Boulevard between Winston Drive and Font Boulevard. Parking is $1 per hour with a $5 daily maximum. For more information, see

Ms. Nonkenís performance is sponsored by The School of Music and Dance, which is under the direction of world renowned pianist Roger Woodward. A diverse, internationally recognized music faculty offers the more than 300 music students extensive one-on-one instruction in both professional and liberal arts degree programs. The music faculty includes artist-in-residence Branford Marsalis; quartet-in-residence the Alexander String Quartet; composers Ronald Caltabiano, Richard Festinger and Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez. The dance program has trained hundreds of dancers and presented concerts featuring a wide range of techniques including Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Capoeira, Flamenco, Kathak, Afro-Haitian and Dunham. About 60 students declare a major in dance. Successful graduates include Elvia Marta, director of dance at San Franciscoís School of the Arts and recipient of the 2002 Isadora Duncan Award for Sustained Achievement. In addition to offering a bachelorís degree in dance, SFSU offers the only program for physical education credentialing in dance in California. For more information, please call the School of Music and Dance at 415/338-1431 or visit

The School of Music and Dance is part of the College of Creative Arts, the only academic program primarily devoted to the arts in Northern California. Under the direction of Dean Keith Morrison, an internationally acclaimed faculty directs more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students in seven disciplines: art, cinema, broadcast and electronic communication arts, music, dance, theatre, and design and industry. The College of Creative Arts is part of San Francisco State University, one of the 23 member universities comprising the California State University, the largest system of higher education in the nation. SFSU is a highly diverse, comprehensive, public and urban university. Applications are available by calling the SFSU Admissions Office at 415/338-1113.

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Last modified July 25, 2002, by the Office of Public Affairs