Ben Johnston


Birthday March 15, 1926

Birth Sign Pisces

Birthplace Georgia

DEATH DATE Jul 21, 2019 (93)

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Skilled composer who was known for writing contemporary music in just intonation. He contributed greatly to microtonal music.

Before Fame

He worked with composer and music theorist Harry Partch, from whom he learned just intonation. He would later expand upon the theories Partch taught him.


He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1959, a National Council on the Arts and the Humanities grant in 1966, and received commissions from the Smithsonian Institution.

Family Life

His family was living in Macon, Georgia, when he was born. He retired in North Carolina.

Associated With

He encountered such avant-garde musicians as La Monte Young, Iannis Xenakis, and John Cage while teaching composition and theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1951 until 1986.