Milton Babbitt

Milton Babbitt (1916-2011) died a few months ago. Babbitt was a composer, music theorist and mathematician; he was also engaged as a teacher at Princeton University Princeton, New York’s Julliard School of Music and New-Music Courses in Darmstadt. He was a pioneer of electronic music and a brilliant follower of Schönberg’s experiments with the dodecaphony technique. Due to his tendency to complexity and rationalization he is misleadingly recognised as an academic and listener-distant composer. Such opinion can be contradicted by works such as the orchestral Relata I, jazz All Set, late Concerto for orchestra and Concerto for piano. Considering Babbitt’s achievements as a theorist and composer, Elliott Carter once called him “Rameau of dodecaphony”.

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