Born in 1908, Elliott Carter composed up until his death in 2012, at the age of 103! In fact, he composed 60 pieces from the age of 90 to 103. He attended birthday celebrations and premieres of his pieces until close to his passing. Two of his final compositions had their premieres after his death. He obviously loved what he did as he never stopped!
Carter is a Pulitzer prize winning American composer. He was born in Manhattan, destined to take over the family business of his father, a wealthy lace importer. But Carter’s interest was in music and he pursued music along with a degree in English at Harvard. After completing his Masters at Harvard, he studied in Paris for three years with Nadia Boulanger and at the École Normale de Musique. He returned to New York in 1935 with a doctorate in music (Mus.D.).
He married Helen Frost-Jones in 1939 and they bought a place in Greenwich Village in 1945. They lived there together until her passing in 2003 and he continued to live there until his death in 2012. He spent many years teaching in a number of prestigious schools including Yale and Juilliard. In 1960, he received his first Pulitzer Prize for his Second String Quartet. His Third String Quartet gained him a second Pulitzer in 1973.
We will hear his String Quartet No. 5 performed by the Arditti Quartet at our March 20th concert, a piece they commissioned in 1995. A concert not to be missed!
To find out more about Elliott Carter, you can visit http://elliottcarter.com/index.html