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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Remembering Avant-Garde Composer Elliott Carter

Elliott Carter reviews his composition, "Horn Concerto" with Boston Symphony Orchestra principal horn player James Sommerville during a rehearsal at Symphony Hall Boston. (Michael Lutch/H&N listener)

Elliott Carter reviews his composition, “Horn Concerto” with Boston Symphony Orchestra principal horn player James Sommerville during a rehearsal at Symphony Hall Boston. (Michael Lutch/H&N listener)

Composer Elliott Carter died Monday at the age of 103. During his lifetime he won numerous awards including two Pulitzer Prizes, but Harvard music professor Tom Kelly says he wasn’t always destined for greatness.

“His music to some people seemed almost impossible to play and impossible to listen to in his early years,” Kelly told Here & Now’s Robin Young.

But Kelly adds, some of Carter’s works have become classics.

Boston Globe classical music critic Jeremy Eichler adds that even though he was over 100-years-old, Carter’s death was still surprising, because he was so vibrant.

“He was so present and so very much with the classical music world,” Eichler said. “He was not only attending performances of his works but he was writing new ones at a speed that just mystified everyone, even his champions.”

We remember the composer and revisit a celebration of his 100 birthday.

Guests:

  • Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe classical music critic
  • Tom Kelly, Harvard Music professor

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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