How I became a fan of George Crumb

From the Times Online, reviews of recent Crumb performances.

The American composer George Crumb, who has just turned 80, is a pioneering spirit in the native tradition of Ives, Cowell and Cage, a figure with his roots in band music, gospel music and early jazz, but one who grafted himself onto the European avant-garde and gained much international réclame in the 1960s. Some of his works are contemporary classics — Ancient Voices of Children, for voices and ensemble; Black Angels, for electric string quartet — but in recent decades he has been a less potent presence, and performances of his music in this country are rare.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra’s adopting him for one of its Total Immersion days of concerts, talks and films at the Barbican was a welcome chance to consider his achievement afresh.

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