Charlotte Moorman | Performance art

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Charlotte Moorman (November 18, 1933 – November 8, 1991) was an American cellist, performance artist, and advocate for avant-garde music. Referred to as the “Jeanne d’Arc of new music”, she was the founder of the Annual Avant Garde Festival of New York and a frequent collaborator with Korean artist Nam June Paik. Following her studies at Juilliard, Moorman commenced a classical concert hall career as a cellist and joined the American Symphony Orchestra. From 1958-1963 she was also a member of Jacob Glick’s Boccerini Players. However, she was soon drawn into the more experimental performance art scene of the 1960s through her roommate and friend Yoko Ono. When asked during an interview how she had become interested in the avant-garde, Ms. Moorman said that one day she had grown [tired] of a Kabalevsky cello piece and someone had suggested that she try playing John Cage’s “26 Minutes, 1.1499 Seconds for a String Player” which, among other things, requires the performer to prepare and eat mushrooms… (

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