We ask musicians to talk about three most favorite pieces of music of their choice (any author, any genre, any time period).

Three most favorite, most influential, most memorable – whatever! – pieces of music. They choose (and tell us why), we listen. We make video, edit it, and make them available to everyone here, at threepieces.org.

We know that these people love music – otherwise they wouldn’t be involved with it. We also know that they understand music differently from us, non-musicians – because music is both their life and their profession. So we ask them to share their understanding of music and their love for music with us.

It’s a tough call for a musician to choose three pieces of music out of millions and millions of those. But it’s also a joy to share one’s love for music with other people who love it.

Let’s begin!

With love for music,

Vlad Oboronko and Alexander Cheparukhin


Tony Levin

Tony Levin 2 100x100One of the most famous progressive rock musicians in the world, Tony Levin (electric bass, Chapman stick, upright bass, synthesizer) talks about his two most favorite pieces of music: Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum’s Sleep is Wrong. In his third “piece”, Tony Levin pays tribute to his friend and colleague, guitarist Hugh McCracken

DJ Spooky

Spooky Avedon 100x100DJ Spooky aka Paul D. Miller and That Subliminal Kid, composer, musician, turntablist, media artist, producer, author, philosopher discusses his three most favorite pieces of music: John Cage’s Imaginary Landscape #4, Duke Ellington’s A Tone Poem Parallel to Harlem, and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s Blackboard Jungle Dub.

David Jones

David Jones 100x100London-based David Jones, one of the most influential UK producers of live jazz, international, and new music, owner of Serious production agency, chooses his three most favorite pieces of music: 1957 Benjamin Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde, Brian Eno’s song I’ll Come Running, and Clint Mansell’s composition Death is the Road to Awe (Kronos Quartet performance)

John Schaefer

John Schaefer 100x100WNYC’s renowned host of New Sounds and Soundcheck music programs, John Schaefer, chooses three of his most favorite pieces of music:  David Bowie’s Heroes, J.S. Bach’s Chaconne, and Philip Glass’ Knee Play 5 (the conclusion of Einstein on the Beach) .

Gary Lucas

“Thinking man’s guitar hero,” Gods and Monsters‘ frontman, Captain Beefheart’s guitarist, Jeff Buckley’s co-author and collaborator, Gary Lucas talks about his most favorite music: Skip James’ blues, The Incredible Strings Band’s 5000 Spirits and the Layers of the Onion album and Fleetwood Mac’s Then Play On masterpiece LP

Peter Hammill

Peter Hammill 100x100English singer-songwriter, founding member of the legendary progressive rock band Van der Graaf Generator, Peter Hammill chooses three most favorite pieces of music in his life: William Byrd’s Three Masses, Astor Piazzolla’s music, and the Beatles’ Tomorrow Never Knows

Kimmo Pohjonen

Kimmo“Accordion adventurer,” musician who revolutionized accordion playing and writing, Kimmo Pohjonen talks about his most favorite music: Tanzanian Hukwe Zawose’s album Mateso, Canadian John Oswald’s noise composition VT, and American The Shaggs’ album Philosophy of the World.


Frontman and founder of the internatonally acclaimed Gypsy-punk outfit Gogol Bordello, Zgeka (aka Eugene Hütz aka Zgeka Hutz-Nikolaev) talks about the most formative music of his life and career: 1960s and 70s classic rock, punk and postpunk, Brazilian carnival music.

John McLaughlin

Monaco-based English guitarist, bandleader, and composer, one of the most famous musicians of the world, John McLaughlin talks about his most favorite music: Miles Davis’ Walkin‘, Beatles’ A Day in A Life, and Take 6’s There is a Quiet Place.

David Harrington

San Francisco-based musician, founder and violinist of the world-famous Kronos Quartet , David Harrington talks about his most favorite music pieces and sounds: George Crumb’s Black Angels, and Schubert’s Quintet in C major, and sounds of Marika Papagika’s singing, Fritz Kreisler’s violin interpretation of Dvorak’s Humoresque, Alim Qasimov’s singing, Tanya  Tagaq’s throatsinging

Wade Schuman

NYC-based musician, frontman of Hazmat Modine, Wade Schuman talks about his three most favorite pieces of music: Otis Redding’s Mary Had a Little Lamb, Richard “Rabbit” Brown’s James Alley Blues, and Abdel Gadir Salim’s Alhagi.

Andrey Makarevich

Moscow-based Andrei Makarevich, founding member and frontman of the famous Russian rock band Time Machine (Машина Времени), talks about three songs that shook him when he was 12 years old: The Platters’ 16 Tons, Conjunto Farroupilha’s Que Ter Mulato, and the Beatles’ All Your Loving.

Benoit Bourque

Quebec-based Benoit Bourque, frontman of the famous La Bottine Souriante folk band, talks about the fiddle piece La Rosignol by Jean Carignan (Quebec), Le Seguin’s (Quebec) 1970s version of the traditional Le roi d’à l’envers song, and Sailor Boy by The Bothy Band (Ireland).

Anton Batagov

NYC-based Russian composer and pianist, Anton Batagov talks about three concerts that impressed him most: Sviatoslav Richter’s recital (Moscow, 1985); British rock band Yes first Moscow’s show in 2001; and John Cage’s last radio appearance (WNYC, New York, July 1992)

Markus Reuter

Innsbruck (Austria)-based guitarist and composer, member of avant-garde electronica outfit Centrozoon, member of Stick Men trio (with King Crimsonites Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto), Markus Reuter talks about his most favorite music: Mike Oldfield’s Ommadawn album, his own Todmorden 513 composition, and zen funk music of Nik Bartsch’s Ronin (album Holon)

Mia Hsieh

Taipei(Taiwan)-based singer of A Moving Sound art collective, Mia Hsieh talks about her most favorite music: Meredith Monk’s Dolmen Music, Huun Huur Tu’s Orphan’s Lament, and Taiwanese If I Open the Door of My Heart song

Vladimir Martynov

Moscow-based composer, philosopher, and theorist of music, Vladimir Martynov talks about music that changed his life: Bach’s Goldberg Variations performed by Glenn Gould in 1957 Moscow; Modern Jazz Quartet’s and Thelonious Monk’s albums; King Crimson’s Red

Olivier Conan

Brooklyn-based owner of Barbes Records, co-owner of Barbes Club, frontman of one of the coolest New York band’s Chiche Libre, Olivier Conan talks about Mahler’s 1st Symphony, a Spanish Civil War song Los Cuatros Generales, and songs of Willie Melon, “The Beatles of Latin Music”.




Three Pieces is a project in which musicians and people who work with music (producers, music critics, etc.) talk about their three most favorite pieces of music.

This project was day-dreamt up by NYC-based Vlad Oboronko in late 2010 and has run by him since 2011.

From the very beginning, Vlad’s partner in the project has been Moscow-based Alexander (Sasha) Cheparukhin, legendary Russian music promoter, concert and festival producer,  general director of GreenWave Music production agency, who has been introducing Three Pieces to world-class musicians so that they take part in the project and was periodically lending money to help get it off the ground.  For more info on the project’s creative team click here.

  1. Scott Prairie 12.26.11 / 5pm

    Vladimir the care and artistry you put into this site and the wonderful editing of the interviews is amazing. You surpassed my expectations! Thanks for generously sharing your love of music..and what you have created is a work of art in itself! I am looking fwd to seeing all the interviews as you post them and learning about music i have not known before. Congrats on a great site!

  2. Kashkarova Tetiana 1.8.12 / 12pm

    Congratulations!!!Great site!!! Great work!!!

  3. Debbi 2.25.12 / 3am

    Bravo for atpiecraping music in all its forms! There is no one right style for classical music to take in order to still express the sentiment and talent it does.

  4. Andrey Baev 3.19.12 / 10am

    Спасибо за сайт.Идея прекрасная. Хорошей музыки много не бывает.

  5. Eugenia 5.8.12 / 9am

    Музыка – единственный всемирный язык, его не надо переводить, на нем душа говорит с душою. (Бертольд Авербах)
    Фредерик Шопен определял музыку как «искусство выражать свои мысли звуками»
    Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.

    Музыка выше, чем все откровения мудрости и философии.

    Музыка – единственный язык, общяясь на котором, люди обретают взаимопонимание,
    становятся добрее и лучше!
    Спасибо за великолепную идею и ее столь же интересное воплощение!

  6. Vlad 5.8.12 / 5pm

    Женя, спасибо Вам большое за такой теплый отзыв… Следите за обновлениями (вот прям завтра появится что-то новое и оч. интересное :) )

  7. Pamela Z 6.7.13 / 8pm

    Dear Vlad and Alexander,

    First, I want to thank you for your project. Really nice idea and very nicely executed. Also, your selected musicians/composers/producers/journalists are all very interesting and have chosen excellent works to discuss. I came across your site because I had a Google Alert for Kronos Quartet, for whom I’ve recently composed a commissioned work.

    I do have one question for you, though. How are you selecting these people? I’m sure it was not a conscious choice on your part, but I couldn’t help but to notice that you might as well change your introduction to read:

    “The idea is very simple: we ask male composers, and other men involved with music to talk about three pieces of music of their choice.”

    I had to scroll through 14 of your music professionals before I finally came to a woman (Mia Hsieh). And she was followed by two more men. So you’ve asked for opinions from 16 music professionals, and only one of those is female.

    Again, I’m sure you have not consciously thought about gender at all in making these choices but, things being as they are, might I gently suggest that it might be beneficial to think about that a little bit, going forward? In that way, you might avoid the pitfall of perpetuating one of the persistent negative aspects of our field.

    Respectfully yours,

    Pamela Z

  8. Vlad 6.8.13 / 4pm

    Dear Pamela,
    Thank you for your letter.
    I fully agree with everything you said, with just one exception: I don’t think I’ll be changing the writeup to “male composers and other men” because the project has NOT been oriented toward men, although, yes, it’s heavily slanted towards them.

    I have interviewed Maya Azucena about nine months ago and I will start editing her “pieces” today. I asked Phyllis Chen (whose music I admire) for an interview about a year ago but she was preparing to have a baby and said that she would love to do it, but later (I’ve just written her again – so, again, thank you for your letter!). I have tried to contact Annette Peacock via Facebook – never heard back from her. I’ve been trying to get on touch with Laurie Anderson – no luck so far :)

    Whenever you are in NYC – I would love to interview you, just let me know slightly in advance. And, let me turn the table on you: please, help me to get in touch with female artists – I would love to have women better represented in the project.

    Again, thank you for writing, I am happy you like the project and I am grateful to you for reminding me of the obvious gender imbalance of the project.
    best of luck to you,
    Vlad Oboronko
    Three Pieces

  9. Pamela Z 6.8.13 / 6pm

    Hi Vlad,
    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. If you’re looking for suggestions of interesting women in music (composers, curators, etc), a quick perusal of my database yields these names. (This was just culling from NY names.) I can offer a lot more if I include San Francisco, Europe, etc. I’ll send more suggestions (male & female, NY and non-NY) along to you soon. Meanwhile, try:

    Julia Wolfe
    Pauline Oliveros
    Annea Lockwood
    Joan LaBarbara
    Ikue Mori
    Yoko Ono
    Meredith Monk
    Kathy Supové
    Helen Thorington
    Zeena Parkins
    Diamanda Galas
    Eve Beglarian
    Mari Kimura
    Lisa Bielawa
    Shelley Hirsch
    Laurie Spiegal
    Okkyung Lee
    Joan Tower
    Miya Masaoka
    Tania Leon
    Dafna Naphtali
    Carol Parkinson
    Debra Singer
    Maria Chavez
    Kim Gordon
    Brenda Hutchinson

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