Tony Conrad

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  • Buffalo, NY

Artist Biography

Tony Conrad was considered one of the first "minimal" composer / performers, associated in his early period with La Monte Young, John Cale, Henry Flynt and legendary New York underground filmmaker Jack Smith. Conrad is also acknowledged as a pioneer of structuralist filmmaking (his 1960s film The Flicker is one of the key early works of the "structural" film movement), and in recent years he presented and performed at festivals and events worldwide.

Conrad worked in music composition, video, film, and performance and taught video production and analysis in the Department of Media Study of the State University of New York at Buffalo starting in 1976. During his last ten years, Conrad has focused on music and performing recent works in new music venues, museums and clubs in the US and internationally. He composed more than a dozen works, primarily for solo amplified violin with amplified strings, using special tunings and scales.

Tony Conrad passed away in April 2016.

Selected Press

Tony Conrad is a pioneer, as seminal in his way to American music as Johnny Cash or Captain Beefheart or Ornette Coleman, one of those really savvy Old Guys whom all the kids want to emulate because their ideas, their style are electric and new and somehow indivisible.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Conrad invents a new musical language... unbearably intense and gloriously ecstatic. A landmark recording in every sense.
The Wire
Totally uncompromising... a marvel.