Saturday, February 13, 2016

Elliott Carter, 1908-2012

The grand old man of new music is gone. Elliott Cook Carter died Monday in New York. He was 103.

Elliott Carter, 1908-2012


The grand old man of new music is gone. Elliott Cook Carter died Monday in New York. He was 103.

AP obit here

A page from his publisher's website gives an idea of what he had been up to lately, including a premiere by Gustavo Dudamel, pianist Daniel Barenboim and the Orchestra of La Scala just days ago.

Reviews of his music in (and near) Philadelphia capture, I think, some essential truths about Carter's language: an Orchestra 2001 concert that featured his Asko Concerto (2000) and Dialogues (2003), review here; and his first opera, What Next?, premiered in 2000, review here.

The Juilliard Quartet made history in a 1991 Free Library of Philadelphia concert when it put all four Carter String Quartets on one program. Read a young critic's account here.

"Wait, is that a melody? No, just a fleeting fragment. Didn't we hear that figure before? Maybe. But not in that exact form. The sound world of Elliott Carter is not the most obvious one to navigate, but his aesthetic at least is consistent." This excerpt from a 2008 review of his Oboe Quartet. The entire piece here.

Inquirer Classical Music Critic
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About this blog

Peter Dobrin is a classical music critic and culture writer for The Inquirer. Since 1989, he has written music reviews, features, news and commentary for the paper, covering such topics as the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Venice Biennale, expansion of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Orchestra's bankruptcy declaration in 2011, Philadelphia's evolving performing arts center and the general health of arts and culture.

Dobrin was a French horn player. He earned an undergraduate degree in performance from the University of Miami, and received a master's degree in music criticism from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Elliott Galkin. He has no time to practice today.

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