Marilyn Nonken

Scott Joplin’s Ragtime

In this lecture recital, distinguished performer and scholar, Marilyn Nonken, explores the music of Scott Joplin (1868-1917) and his collaborators Scott Hayden (1882-1915), Arthur Marshall (1881-1968), and Louis Chauvin (1882-1908).

These early-twentieth-century American artists formed a tightly-knit community, orbiting Joplin in their mutual roles as performers and composers, teachers, students, classmates, and kinfolk. Together, they created a soundworld merging urban and rural vocabularies, a ragtime music exploiting a rich harmonic, melodic, textural, and cultural vocabulary. Yet a critical ear towards their musical collaborations allows today’s audiences to recognize the diverse voices of each, distinguished by their individual approaches to expressive timing and form, sonority, and virtuosity.

This is a public event sponsored by the Many Musics of America event series.


Marilyn Nonken is a music historian, pianist, Professor of Music, and Chair of the Department of Music and Performing Professor of Music at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Her research and performance projects engage with the evolution of contemporary practices. with a critical eye towards changing conceptions and attitudes towards identity, accessibility, technology, and virtuosity. “It is gratifying to encounter an international concert performer,” wrote Bob Gilmore, “who can make so engaging a discourse around her core repertoire.” Author of Identity and Diversity in Music: The New Complexities (Routledge 2019) and The Spectral Piano: From Liszt, Scriabin, and Debussy to the Digital Age (Cambridge 2015), her discography includes more than 30 recordings.