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The Boston Globe


Classical Notes

John Cage’s silent 4’33” still inspires tributes

Stephen Drury’s first encounter with John Cage came when he was growing up in Spokane, Wash. One of his music teachers would leave books out for students to peruse while they waited for lessons. One day, Drury noticed “Twentieth Century Music,” a then-recent book by critic Peter Yates. Flipping through it, he came across a description of Cage’s seminal “4’33.’’ ”

“That was the moment,” Drury said during a recent conversation. “Everything went downhill from there. Or took a sharp left turn,” he added with a laugh.

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