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Rex Lawson

Country of origin: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Birthday: 1948

About Rex Lawson

Rex Lawson’s name is synonymous with “pianola”. Born in Bromley, Kent (UK) in 1948, he studied music at Dulwich College and the University of Nottingham. Fascinated by the first pianola he acquired in 1971, he gave up his plans for a traditional music career and concentrated initially on concerts with reproducing pianos. He made his international debut in Paris in a first performance of the pianola version of Stravinsky’s Les Noces under the direction of Pierre Boulez. He produces his own perforated music rolls with a company he founded in 1986; to date, he has produced almost 200 versions of primarily classical pieces. He is generally considered the world’s foremost expert on Stravinsky’s work for the pianola and was for many years a friend of Conlon Nancarrow, who dedicated to Lawson a pianola concerto, which Nancarrow did not live to finish. High points in Lawson’s career have been: a solo appearance in George Antheil’s Ballet Mécanique in Carnegie Hall, the “resuscitation” of Percy Grainger as a pianist at the “Last Night of the Proms” in the Royal Albert Hall in 1988, and the first concert performances of practically all of Stravinsky’s works for the pianola, including Le sacre du printemps, at the Théatre des Champs Élysées in Paris.