Kathleen O'Connell

Elliott Carter, 1908 - 2012

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As Quiggin pointed out in the Charles Rosen thread, the great American avant-garde composer Elliot Carter also died recently at the grand old age of 103. An exact contemporary of John Cage, Carter wrapped up his final composition a scant few months before his death.

Carter was the music director of Lincoln Kirstein’s Ballet Caravan for two years (1937-39) and composed the ballet Pocahontas for the company.

Carter’s New York Times obit is here.

In 2011 two young ballet choreographers -- Emery LeCrone and Avi Scher – were each given the opportunity to set a new work to five of Carter’s short chamber compositions under the auspices of the Guggenheim’s Works & Process Series.

Their new ballets were premiered at a Works & Process program in early October 2011. Our own Leigh Witchel was the moderator.

Alas, this wasn’t one of the programs that the Works & Process folks chose to archive in its entirety on the web, but you can see some clips from the program itself and the pre-program publicity on YouTube.

A short video containing extracts from the Works & Process program, including clips from both the works and the accompanying discussions are

.

“Sneak Peak” of Avi Scher’s contribution (“It Makes Me Nervous”).

one of Emery LeCrone’s contribution (“With Thoughtful Lightness”)

a related clip from an interview with Emery LeCrone and her sister, NYCB dancer Megan LeCrone.

Brian Seibert reviewed the Works & Process program in the New York Times.

Carter’s publisher, Boosey & Hawkes, interviewed him in his Manhattan apartment in 2010. You can watch the interviews – which document his career and features clips from some of his works here.

Boosey has posted extracts from his work here.

I love Carter’s string quartets, but my absolute favorite among his works is his 1952 Sonata for Flute, Oboe, Cello & Harpsichord.

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