Composer, flutist, and conductor Petr Kotik was born in 1942 in Prague and educated at the Prague Conservatory, the Prague Music Academy, and the Vienna Music Academy. He has been living in the United States since 1969, where he founded the S.E.M. Ensemble in 1970, devoted to the performance of new music.
As a composer, Kotik’s aesthetic derives from the Cageian tradition. In the 1960s he began using chance operation and graphic notation, and by the 1970s a new and distinctive musical style began to emerge. Crystallized in his magnum opus and best-known work, Many, Many Women, a mammoth six-hour composition with a text by Gertrude Stein, this style is characterized by parallel motion, stark counterpoint, and post-minimalist repetitive structures. Kotik has proven to be an ardent and tireless champion of experimental music. He has researched, lectured on, realized and was the first to record the little known musical compositions of Marcel Duchamp.