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Nanosonatas (2006–2010) are piano compositions by American composer Frederic Rzewski.


In the summer of 2006, the composer’s friend, Hideyuki Arata, a Japanese scientist born in Okinawa, who specialized in nanotechnology and biophysics, sent him an article of three pages,[1] which he had published from Applied Physics Letters. At the end of the article, he gave the composer credit for “our valuable discussions on nanomolecular motors”. The scientist happened to be an amateur pianist, and the composer came up with the idea of dedicating “Nanosonata” in exchange. The first Nanosonata was three pages, about two minutes long, and as the composer said, was technically somewhat demanding, but not requiring a lot of practice for the scientist. He also had a commission to write a new piece for Milton Schlosser in Edmonton, Alberta. The composer liked the first Nanosonata, so he thought of making more and get them together.[2] Eventually, the first “Nanosonata” has become “Nanosonata Book I, No 1”. A total of 56 Nanosonatas have been composed, most dedicated to his family and friends, such as Elliott Carter and Pete Seeger.


  • Book I(2006)
  • Nanosonata No. 1 (To Hideyuki Arata)
  • Nanosonata No. 2~7 (To Milton Schlosser)
  • Book II
  • Nanosonata No. 8~14 (To Igor Levit)
  • Book III(2007-2009)
  • Nanosonata No. 15~21
  • Book IV - Peace Dances (Commissioned by Robert Bielecki)
  • Nanosonata No. 22~27 (To Sarah Cahill)
  • Nanosonata No. 28 “It can be done!” (November 12. 2008) (To Elliott Carter and Pete Seeger)
  • Book V
  • Nanosonata No. 29~35
  • Book VI
  • Nanosonata No. 36 “To a Young Man” (To Noam Rzewski)
  • Nanosonata No. 37 “To a Young Woman” (To Noemi)
  • Nanosonata No. 38 “To a great Guy” (To Jan)
  • Nanosonata No. 39 “To a Runner” (To Alexis)
  • Nanosonata No. 40 “To a Dead Infant” (To Nicolas)
  • Nanosonata No. 41 “To a Sweet Guy”
  • Nanosonata No. 42 “To a Girl” (To Esther Rzewski)
  • Book VII
  • Nanosonata No. 43~49 (To Annette Morreau)
  • Book VIII
  • Nanosonata No. 50~56 (August 22. 2010) (Commande du Festival d’Automne a Paris 2010)
  • Arrangements
  • Nanosonata No. 12 arranged for violin and piano, 2008


  1. ^ Arata, Hideyuki F.; Noji, Hiroyuki; Fujita, Hiroyuki (2006-02-20). "Motion control of single F1-ATPase rotary biomolecular motor using microfabricated local heating devices". Applied Physics Letters. 88 (8): 083902. doi:10.1063/1.2177374. ISSN 0003-6951.
  2. ^ "Frederic Rzewski, piano" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 22, 2015. Retrieved 2016-07-13.

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