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Elliott Carter

 1908 - 2012Photo credit: Meredith Heuer

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"One of America's most distinguished creative artists in any field" (Aaron Copland) * Intricate, mercurial work often mirrored human interactions and relationships * Late career creative burst yielded an outpouring of major orchestral scores, along with numerous chamber works, in a style marked by transparency and clarity of texture, with a new directness of formal design * Music championed by leading conductors including Boulez, Barenboim, Knussen, Dohnányi, Levine, Gielen, Holliger and Morlot * His many awards include official recognition from the governments of France, Germany, Italy, and the U.S. * Awarded two Pulitzer Prizes (String Quartet No. 2, 1960; String Quartet No. 3, 1973)

Works by Elliott Carter include:
Triple Duo (1983) for chamber ensemble
Symphonia for orchestra: Partita (1993), Adagio Tenebroso (1994), Allegro Scorrevole (1996)
What Next? (1999) opera in one act
Flute Concerto (2008) for flute and ensemble


Looking Ahead: The New York Philharmonic gives the New York premiere of Elliott Carter’s last completed orchestral work, Instances, in June. The UK premiere follows a couple of weeks later with Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Elliott Carter’s final world premiere will take place at Carnegie Hall during the 2014–15 season; the work, The American Sublime, will be performed by the MET Chamber Ensemble under the baton of James Levine.

Video: View a series of interviews with Elliott Carter talking about his life and music.

"There is often wit and humour to be heard in [Carter's] work; anger in some of the earlier big pieces; increasing lyricism and beauty in the compositions of the recent decades. He is America's great musical poet." — Andrew Porter, Musical America

“[Carter’s music is] often suffused with quiet delight, as if the Moderns’ great crisis of subjectivity might, and should, be looked on as an opportunity rather than an occasion for terrible doubt.” — Guy Dammann, Times Literary Supplement


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