Upon her 1993 recital debut, Marilyn Nonken was heralded as "a determined protector of important music" (New York Times). Since then, she has been recognized as "one of the greatest interpreters of new music" (American Record Guide). Writes Fanfare: “Her voicings are exquisite, her pedaling throughout is a model to be studied, and, when necessary, her virtuosity is equaled only by the insight and passion with which every piece is imbued.” (2015) Since 2006, she has been Director of Piano Studies at NYU's Steinhardt School, where she is currently Associate Professor.
Marilyn Nonken’s performances have been presented at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Miller Theatre, the Guggenheim Museum, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Spectrum, and Roulette (New York), IRCAM, Reid Hall, and the Théâtre Bouffe du Nord (Paris), the ABC (Melbourne), Instituto Chileno-Norteamericano (Santiago), the Music Gallery (Toronto), the Phillips and Menil Collections, Rothko Chapel (Houston) and conservatories and universities around the world. Festival appearances include Résonances, Columbia Sounds, and the Festival d'Automne (Paris), When Morty Met John, Making Music, Works and Process, Composers Now, and NYX II: New York Prog and Experimental Music Festival (New York), American Sublime (Philadelphia), The Festival of New American Music (Sacramento), Musica Nova (Helsinki), Aspects des Musiques d'Aujourd-hui (Caen), Rencontres Musicales de Jaugette, ATEMPO (Caracas), New Music Days (Ostrava), Musikhøst (Odense), Music on the Edge (Pittsburgh), Piano Festival Northwest (Portland), NUNC! (Chicago), Unruly Music (Milwaukee), and the William Kapell International Piano Festival and Competition. Highlights of recent seasons include performances of Hugues Dufourt's Erlkönig, Claude Vivier's Shiraz, and Tristan Murail's complete piano music, as well performances of Gerard Grisey's Vortex temporum with Sound Icon. Composers who have written for her include Milton Babbitt, Richard Carrick, Victoria Cheah, Jason Eckardt, Michael Finnissy, Joshua Fineberg, Michael Kuehn, Tristan Murail, Christopher Trapani, and Nina C. Young. This season, she tours the United States and France with Ives's Sonata No. 2, Concord, Mass., 1840-1860 and the complete preludes of Ruth Crawford Seeger; joins forces with Eteri Andjaparidze and Sarah Rothenberg for performances of Satie's complete works for four hands and Stravinsky's Le sacre du printemps (respectively); revisits compositions written for her by Liza Lim and Elizabeth Hoffman; and premieres works by Philadelphia composers in connection with the American Composers Forum.
Marilyn Nonken has recorded for New World Records, Mode, Lovely Music, Albany, Metier, Divine Art, Innova, CRI, BMOP Sound, New Focus, Kairos, Tzadik, and Bridge. Director of Piano Studies and Associate Professor of Music and Music Education at New York University's Steinhardt School, she is closely involved with Composers Now and the Fromm Music Foundation. Marilyn Nonken is a Steinway Artist.
A student of David Burge at the Eastman School, Marilyn Nonken received a Ph.D. in musicology from Columbia University. Her monograph The Spectral Piano (Cambridge University Press, 2015) has been received as “a screaming success …. Few books can boast as much, and it is gratifying to encounter an international concert performer who can make so engaging a discourse around her core repertoire." (Bob Gilmore, Tempo). She contributed chapters to Perspectives on the Performance of French Piano Music and Messiaen Perspectives; guest edited the issue of Contemporary Music Review “Performers on Performance,” and contributed articles to the Journal of the Institute for Studies in American Music, Journal of Hand Therapy, Perspectives of New Music, Current Musicology, Ecological Psychology, and Music and Medicine. She is currently writing the chapter on Hugues Dufourt for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Spectral Music.