Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji

English composer, music critic, pianist and writer

Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji (14 August 189215 October 1988), born Leon Dudley Sorabji, was an English composer, pianist, and writer on music of mixed Parsi and English extraction. He was famed for his extraordinarily long and difficult piano compositions; his Opus clavicembalisticum (1929–30) was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest non-repetitive piano composition ever written.


  • To the everlasting glory of those few men blessed and sanctified in the curses and execrations of those many whose praise is eternal damnation.
    • Dedication to the score of Opus clavicembalisticum (p. 3).
  • Visitors unwelcome.
    • Sign posted at the gate to his English home. The Concise Edition of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 8th ed. Revised by Nicolas Slonimsky. New York, Schirmer Books, 1993. ISBN 002872416X. p. 958.
  • With a wracking head and literally my whole body shaking as with ague I write this and tell you I have just this afternoon early finished Clavicembalisticum... The closing 4 pages are so cataclysmic and catastrophic as anything I've ever done — the harmony bites like nitric acid — the counterpoint grinds like the mills of God...
    • Letter to his friend the Scots composer Erik Chisholm (1904-65) upon completion of Opus clavicembalisticum, 1930; quoted by pianist John Ogdon.

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