ELLIOTT CARTER (1908 - 2012)
Elliott Carter long held a position of particular eminence in American music. Educated at Harvard and in Paris, where he also had lessons from Nadia Boulanger, he established himself in the United States, with countless prizes and awards, and teaching appointments, including periods at Columbia, MIT, Cornell and Yale, and for a more extended period at the Juilliard School.
Orchestral & Chamber Music
Carter was always a figure of some independence in American music, whether under the influence of Ives, in adolescence, of Boulanger in Paris or, in later years, of the American and European avant-garde, with all trends absorbed into his own original work. Earlier works written in America after his return from Paris move, for a time, towards a populist idiom, heard in Holiday Overture and Symphony No 1.
His Double Concerto and Piano Concerto, the latter written in 1964-65 and dedicated to Stravinsky, represent a change of style, using original techniques developed over the intervening years. His varied chamber music includes five string quartets. He continued composing until nearly the end of his life, with Interventions for piano and orchestra in 2007, a work based on Ezra Pound’s Canto 95, a Flute Concerto and, in 2012, Twelve Short Epigrams for piano.