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Elliott Carter
Birth: Dec. 11, 1908
New York
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
Death: Nov. 5, 2012
New York
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA

Composer. A prolific creator of modern music, he shall be remembered for a large, varied, and rather complicated body of work, a significant portion of it produced after his 90th. birthday. Born Elliott Cook Carter, Jr. to a wealthy family which bought its insurance from composer Charles Ives, he was raised in New York City and while he developed an early love for music he was not drawn to it as a profession until he saw Pierre Montoux conduct the Boston Symphony in a 1924 Carnegie Hall performance of Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring". Mr. Carter majored in English literature at Harvard, singing in the Glee Club and, encouraged by Maestro Ives, attending the Boston Symphony at every opportunity while spending his spare time studying at the Longy School of Music where he was trained by Walter Piston and Gustav Holst. After obtaining a master's degree in music from Harvard he studied from 1932 to 1935 with Nadia Boulanger at Paris' Ecole Normale de Musique then upon receiving his doctorte returned home where he worked as a newspaper critic and as music director for Lincoln Kirstein's Ballet Caravan for whom he wrote "Pocahontas", in which one may detect echoes of "The Rite of Spring", and "The Minotaur" while also composing incidental music for Orson Welles' "Mercury Theater". Begining in the early 1940's Mr. Carter published a steady stream of atonal compositions featuring 'metrical modulation', a contrast between each of the instruments, which he often characterized as 'experimental' and which even after years of fine-tuning were usually difficult to perform or to understand. His 1942 First Symphony and the 1944 "Holiday Overture" were fairly well received but his career was largely interrupted by World War II during which he served with the Office of War Information. A resident of Greenwich Village from 1945 on, though he spent 1950 in the Sonora Desert on a Guggenheim Fellowship, Mr. Carter was gradually to see a number of his pieces including his 1948 Cello Sonata, 1951's First String Quartet, the Double Concerto for Harpsichord, Piano, and Two Chamber Orchestras (1961), his personal favorite, the 1969 "Concerto for Orchestra", a commission from the New York Philharmonic, and two solo piano works, the Piano Sonata (1946) and 1980's "Night Fantasy", gain public as well as critical acceptance and become more or less a part of the concert repertoire. A respected pedagogue, he taught at the Peabody Conservatory, Queen's College, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Cornell, Juilliard, and the Tanglewood Festival. Twice a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, for 1960's Second String Quartet and the 1973 String Quartet No.3, he received the 1981 Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, was in 1985 part of the first group to be bestowed the National Medal of the Arts, earned a 2006 Grammy nomination for his "Boston Concerto", in 2009 was presented the Trustees Award, a lifetime achievement Grammy for non-performers, and in 2012 was designated Commander of the French Legion of Honor. Quite capable of writing for voice, he turned-out some early choral works and saw his 1978 "Syringa", a telling of the Orpheus legend for mezzo soprano, gain praise but did not produce his first opera, a piece entitled "What Next?" which was premiered in 1999 by the Berlin State Opera, until he was 90. From around age 80 Mr. Carter's output actually increased though the pieces became shorter and, interestingly, more tonal and easier to understand with the 1987 Oboe Concerto and 1990's Violin Concerto achieving popularity. Never stopping work, he finished "12 Short Epigrams for Piano" on August 13, 2012, received his last world premiere in October of 2012 when "Diagogues II" was presented at La Scala Milano, and at his demise had "Instances" pending its Seattle Symphony first performance. Mr. Carter died of the infirmities of far advanced age with quite a number of his compositions available on CD. Of the rather difficult path by which he approached his art he said: "I just can't bring myself to do something someone else has done before. Each piece is a kind of crisis in my life". (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
Family links: 
  Elliot C. Carter (1885 - 1955)
  Florence Chambers Carter (1887 - 1970)
Green-Wood Cemetery
Kings County (Brooklyn)
New York, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Nov 05, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 100250799
Elliott Carter
Added by: AngelWings
Elliott Carter
Added by: Bob Collins
Elliott Carter
Added by: Bob Collins
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