Monday, November 05, 2012


You can't live forever, but I thought Elliott Carter just might. Alas, bowing to the inevitable, the great composer died today at 103, just a few weeks short of his 104rd birthday.

In recent years, I was lucky enough to hear the Pacifica Quartet play all of his string quartets in one astounding program, Ursula Oppens play (almost) the complete piano music the next day, Elizabeth Rowe and the BSO in his gorgeous Flute Concerto, and the premier of a wind piece in NYC. Mr. Carter, frail but still lively - and still composing - was at that program.

Mr. Carter may be gone, but there's more of his music to come: his page at Boosey & Hawkes mentions a premier at the Seattle Symphony in 2013.

There's a ton of Carter on YouTube; listen to Night Fantasies or the Piano Sonata or the Flute Concerto or anything else, and hoist a drink to a life well lived.


Henry Holland said...

Carter, of course, loathed minimalism, was just scathing about it, so there's that.

I really like the Symphony of Three Orchestras, Three Occasions and the Symphonia, time to dig out the CD's and give them a spin. I wish I liked his opera more than I do....

Elaine Fine said...

Oh my! I thought he would live forever too! It's sad that his life came to an end, but what a life it was!

Lisa Hirsch said...

Indeed it was.