The New York Times covers Elliott Carter’s 100th birthday.
Among the challenges that Elliott Carter has faced during a long, distinguished career as a composer, popular approval might be the one he least expected to grapple with. “It’s a little bit frightening, because I’m not used to being appreciated,” he explained during an onstage interview with Jeremy Geffen, Carnegie Hall’s director of artistic planning, on Friday night at Zankel Hall. “So when I am, I think I’ve made a mistake.”
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From the NY Times:
The stars that govern music must have been aligned exactly 100 years ago. Olivier Messiaen was born in Avignon, France, on Dec. 10, 1908. The next day Elliott Carter was born in New York. Messiaen died at 83 in 1992, composing until the end, still playing the organ every Sunday at the exquisite Trinité church in Paris. Mr. Carter remains very much with us and active, a miraculous fluke of nature.
Messiaen’s centenary has been acknowledged around the world this year, and the Miller Theater at Columbia University presented an exciting program as part of its Composer Portraits series on Saturday night. The deft conductor Jeffrey Milarsky led the Axiom Ensemble, a flexible group of Julliard School students who have palpable enthusiasm for challenging contemporary music and the technical skills to play it.
More from the Times.
? AXIOM ENSEMBLE (Saturday) This concert by the Axiom Ensemble — part of the Miller Theater’s Composer Portraits series — promises to be one of the major events in the commemoration of Olivier Messiaen’s centenary this season. With Jeffrey Milarsky conducting, the orchestra performs “Couleurs de la Cité Céleste,” “Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum” and the “Sept Haïkaï.” At 8 p.m., Miller Theater at Columbia University, Broadway at 116th Street, Morningside Heights, (212) 854-7799, millertheater.com; $25.
? DAY OF CARTER (Saturday) The New York Philharmonic, in its full form, has contributed precious little to the Elliott Carter centenary celebrations that have occupied much of the musical world. But the orchestra’s musicians are convening on Saturday for a program of Mr. Carter’s chamber works, including the Clarinet Quintet, “Figment III” for solo bass, and the premiere of his “Poems of Louis Zukofsky,” with Lucy Shelton as the soprano soloist. The program opens with a filmed interview with Mr. Carter and the composer Steven Stucky, and ends with a discussion between Mr. Carter and Matias Tarnopolsky. At 2 p.m.. Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, 165 West 65th Street, Lincoln Center, (212) 721-6500, nyphil.org; $25; $12 for students and 65+. (Kozinn)
? MAKING MUSIC: ELLIOTT CARTER (Friday) Elliott Carter’s 100th birthday is now behind us — it was on Thursday — but composers’ birthdays are typically celebrated for at least a year and a half these days, so the party rolls on. In this installment of Carnegie Hall’s “Making Music” series, a solid new-music chamber ensemble — with the cellist Fred Sherry, the flutist Tara Helen O’Connor, the clarinetist Charles Neidich and the violinist Rolf Schulte among the players — gives the world premiere of “Duetting” and the New York premiere of “Mosaic.” Also on the program are “Canon for 4,” “Enchanted Preludes,” “Gra,” the Duo for Violin and Piano, “Con Leggerezza Penosa” and “Esprit Rude/Esprit Doux.” Included as well are film interludes by Frank Scheffer. At 7:30 p.m., Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall, (212) 247-7800, carnegiehall.org; $30. (Kozinn)
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From Seattle’s Washington Composers Forum:
Composition and Experimental Instrument Demonstration
Wed., Dec. 10 @ 7:30pm
Jack Straw Productions
4261 Roosevelt Way NE Seattle map FREE
Richard Johnson will present recent compositions and perform on a few of his experimental instruments.
Richard Johnson is a composer studying with Richard Karpen at the University of Washington. Previous teachers include Juan Pampin, Salvatore Macchia and Martin Boykan. Richard has been a resident at the MacDowell Colony and the Ucross Foundation and has received grants from the American Composers Forum and the Eric Stokes Fund. He has also invented numerous musical instruments, including the english cor anglais, a double double reed.
Friday, December 12 @ 8pm
Chapel Performance Space
Good Shepherd Center
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, 4th Floor in Seattle map
Tickets: At door. $5-$15 siding scale, WCF members attend one concert in the Transport series free
The Transport series continues with a focus on work for solo cello. Alexander Ezerman will perform pieces from the 12 Hommages a Paul Sacher: Variation Uber Das Thema Sacher by Christobal Halffter, Les Mots Sont Alles by Luciano Berio, Punena No. 2 (Homage a Paul Sacher) Alberto Ginastera, and Trois Strophes sur le Nom de Sacher Henri Dutilleux. The Sonata for Cello and Piano by Elliott Carter will also be performed. Two pieces from a call for scores will complete the program; Her Light Extinguished by John Crouch and Phantasie by Huck Hodge.
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Not to be left out of an unprecedented party, New England Conservatory has also been celebrating the 100th birthday of Elliott Carter with a wide-ranging festival of student and faculty performances, building in intensity this week. A lively program on Tuesday night in Jordan Hall featured the world premiere of the exuberantly clattering “Tintinnabulation,” commissioned by NEC for Frank Epstein and the school’s Percussion Ensemble.
Noting the fuss over Elliott Carter’s impending centenary, partisans of Milton Babbitt’s music are getting their ducks in a row. Mr. Babbitt is 92 and apparently in good health, and 2016 will be upon us in no time. So on Wednesday evening the Miller Theater devoted a Composer Portraits program to Mr. Babbitt’s string quartets. The composer was on hand for an informal postintermission discussion with James Levine, long an avowed Babbitt fan. And Mr. Carter was seen in the audience, probably to hear what the young whippersnapper was up to.