Personalities | Frank Zappa | Contemporary | Classical

American composer, rock musician

Zappa, the anti-establishment rock musician and founder of The Mothers of Invention, was inspired as a teenager by the music of Varèse, Stravinsky and Webern, and wrote fully notated avant-garde-style pieces while still at school. In 1970 he performed material from his forthcoming film 200 Motels with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and in his last decade initiated collaborations with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Ensemble InterContemporain (The Perfect Stranger, 1984) and the Ensemble Modern (The Yellow Shark, 1993). The short pieces on these albums, with their bizarre titles and incongruous storylines, are technically demanding and approach atonality. He recorded his own arrangements of music by the composer Francesco Zappa (1717–1803): they are not believed to be related.

Recommended Recording:
The Perfect Stranger, Ensemble InterContemporain (cond) Pierre Boulez (Zappa Records)

Introduction | Contemporary | Classical
Personalities | Bernd Alois Zimmermann | Contemporary | Classical


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.