The naked cellist is born again… on Facebook

The naked cellist is born again… on Facebook


norman lebrecht

December 21, 2013

Charlotte Moorman was a cellist who made her name by taking off her clothes in the interest of avant-garde music. She was most closely associated with John Cage and with the Korean composer Nam June Paik. In one work, she invited the audience to cut her clothes off, snip by snip.

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Eager to be ahead of her time, Charlotte was altogether a Sixties person, a phenomenon not to be repeated.

When she died in 1991, we thought we had seen the last of her. But such as the wonder of social media that admirers and academics have created a Facebook site in her memory. Enjoy.

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  • She was more than a naked cellist. She also produced the New York Avant-Garde Festival for many years. The piece referenced above is “Cut Piece” by Yoko Ono, that Charlotte also performed.

  • Daniel Wolf says:

    Above and beyond directing all fifteen editions of the Annual Avant Garde Festival of New York, she was a gifted cellist, a student of Horace Britt and a member of the American Symphony Orchestra selected by Leopold Stokowsky.

  • Ken Walicki says:

    She didn’t “make her name” by taking off her clothes. She was a brilliant cellist who was a champion of modern music.

    • Mati Braun says:

      Had she been a brilliant cellist she wouldn’t have to undress in public. She needed attention because she was not a good cellist.

  • Edwin says:

    Wow, what a bizarre way to write about a wonderful and important artist. Very amusing.