Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Elliott Carter

Music History Monday: A Life Well Lived

We mark the death of the American Composer Elliott Carter, who died six years ago today – on November 5, 2012 – one month shy of his 104th birthday. When Elliott Carter was born on December 11, 1908, Theodore Roosevelt was President; an Indian’s head was on the obverse of a United States penny; Gustav Mahler was the conductor of the New York Philharmonic; and the United States was just beginning its run as a dominant nation on the world’s stage. If the twentieth century was “America’s century”, it was “Elliott Carter’s” century as well: there’s hardly an artistic, cultural, or political event that Carter did not actively observe from the early 1920s through almost yesterday. His musical interests and compositions trace a direct line through some of the most important musical trends of the twentieth century: the experimental, expressionist music of the 1920s; the musical populism of the thirties and early forties; the modernist impulse of the fifties and beyond.  Throughout his compositional career, Elliott Carter has proven himself to be a quintessentially American composer. Not in an Aaron Copland, “folkloric” sense, but more profoundly. Carter’s mature vision of America mirrors, according to his biographer David Schiff: “the energy, […]

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