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Elliott Carter


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(1937 – 2012)

Elliott Cook Carter, Jr. (born December 11, 1908, died November 5, 2012) is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer born in New York City, a composer encompassing many facets of classical music, from neoclassicism to serialism. He studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in the 1930s, during which time he published his first composition in 1937 and then returned to the United States. After a neoclassical phase, he went on to write atonal, rhythmically complex music. His compositions, which have been performed all over the world, include orchestral and chamber music as well as solo instrumental and vocal works.

Elliott Carter has been the recipient of the highest honors a composer can receive: the Gold Medal for Music awarded by the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the National Medal of Arts, membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and honorary degrees from many universities. Hailed by Aaron Copland as “one of America’s most distinguished creative artists in any field,” Carter has received two Pulitzer Prizes and commissions from many prestigious organizations.

Carter’s father, Elliott Carter, Sr. was a businessman and his mother was the former Florence Chambers. The family was well-to-do. As a teenager he developed an interest in music and was encouraged in this regard by the composer Charles Ives (who sold insurance to his family). In 1924 a “galvanized” 15-year-old Carter was in the audience when Pierre Monteux conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the New York première of The Rite of Spring, according to a 2008 report.


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  • blackless

    @elnimio No

    4 May 2014 Reply
  • Synect


    3 May 2014 Reply
  • elnimio

    His earlier music was so much better than his tryhard music from his later life

    9 Apr 2014 Reply
  • GiaNXGX

    Arditti's performances of his string Q's are unreal

    13 May 2013 Reply
  • blackless This is the TV episode where Carter is mentioned

    18 Apr 2013 Reply
  • blackless

    A couple of weeks before his death Carter was mentioned by Euronews. I've also heard somewhare that princess Diana was a big fan of Carter. This doesn't sound unrealistic since the Shah of Iran was a fan of Xenakis.

    6 Apr 2013 Reply
  • GiaNXGX

    rest in peace.

    7 Feb 2013 Reply
  • Taxes

    of the 300 new listeners from the week he died, none stayed :(

    6 Feb 2013 Reply
  • blackless

    I guess it would be good enough if some label decided to release all his recent works.

    4 Feb 2013 Reply
  • Jhaidinszaev

    it's a shitton of music as well. re-releasing his recorded output (there are some pre-mortem retrospectives that can be drawn on) and supplementing it with new recordings of previously unrecorded works is feasible but would take a number of years, & cash

    12 Nov 2012 Reply
  • Taxes

    Not all of his works have even been premiered at this point Mampato, and such an endeavour would be hell to organize considering the very unusual ensembles he tends to favour.

    10 Nov 2012 Reply
  • SLFV

    wow, he's finally gone... :(

    9 Nov 2012 Reply
  • Mampato

    To commemorate his work, how about re-recording and releasing his entire catalog in a box set? Or is that too costly and over adventurous?

    9 Nov 2012 Reply
  • KatAAk

    Still I can't believe that he is dead :\

    8 Nov 2012 Reply
  • trashcity_

    He definitely had a hell of a life. See you in the great beyond Mr. Carter.

    8 Nov 2012 Reply
  • mahleria

    Taken too soon.

    7 Nov 2012 Reply
  • GlennGulda

    Immortality has died :(

    7 Nov 2012 Reply
  • Mampato


    6 Nov 2012 Reply
  • blackless

    I can't believe that it actually happened. This life was such a great adventure. RIP.

    6 Nov 2012 Reply
  • Seavas

    Taken from us in the prime of his life :(

    6 Nov 2012 Reply
  • All 77 shouts

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