George Antheil

Trenton, 8. Juli 1900 - New York City, 12. Februar 1959

"Time is the canvas of music rather than tonality, atonality or no tonality at all."
George Antheil, 1950

George Antheil created in 1925 an exceptional work for 16 pianolas and percussion instruments: his Ballet Mécanique - Ballet pour Instruments Mécaniques et Percussion, which caused a huge scandal at the premiere in Paris. Antheil - the "Bad Boy of Music" - continued to compose for piano again and again. A fascinating document is his own recording of his "Valentine Waltzes" for piano from the year 1949. This is the only surviving piano recording with the composer playing himself.


Check out the PIANOVERSAL listening tips! Or browse for more details about Antheil's piano compositions in the PIANOVERSALRegister section.






 PIANOVERSAL listening tips: George Antheil

Interview with George Antheil about his life as a composer and pianist

(from the album "Antheil plays Antheil", 2000, Label: Other Minds)

Valentine Waltzes (1949)
George Antheil, piano
(from the album "Antheil plays Antheil", 2000, Label: Other Minds)

Ballet Mécanique (1923-25; rev. 1952-52)
Video: Pianist Guy Livingston talks about the Ballet Mécanique

Ballet Mécanique (1923-25; rev. 1952-53)
Ictus Ensemble; 1924. Edited version. Opéra de Lille, December 2012, Georges-Elie Octors (cond.) Rosenblatt, De Cock, Bernat : xylophones | Quadruple bass drum : Gerrit Nulens; MIDI files and recommendations by Paul Lehrman

Find More information about the complicated history of the Ballet Mécanique by visiting Paul D. Lehrman's website:

Jazz-Sonata (1923)
Keith Kirchhoff, Klavier (live recording)

Antheil's music with piano is listed in the PIANOVERSALRegister.


George Antheil: composer of the week No.7 / February 2018

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