Get Carter!

'The earliest pieces that interested me were the Rite of Spring by Stravinsky, the Die Glückliche Hand of Schönberg and Wozzeck by the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokovski. At the Metropolitan Opera I went to hear that, I think around 1927, I don't remember exactly when, but I went assiduously to all concerts of modern music and I disliked old music at that time. It seemed to me stuffy and old-fashioned. Sometimes I still feel that way. My musical life started with hearing and being fascinated by contemporary music. It was only later on that I became more interested in older music.' Elliot Carter (photo above) in interview with Alan Baker

The BBC Symphony Orchestra's 2006 January Composer Weekend from Friday 13th January to Sunday 15th January focuses on American composer Elliott Carter, with three days of concerts, talks and films devoted to Carter's work, life and times.

Celebrating his 98th birthday in 2006 Elliott Carter has been composing for nearly 70 years. This weekend explores the full range of his work, from such early miniatures as Harvest Home, written in 1937, to Of Rewaking, his acclaimed 2002 song-cycle. There will also be music by composers who were his friends and heroes including Charles Ives, Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartók, Aaron Copland, Roger Sessions and Colin Matthews. BBC Radio 3 will be devoting substantial airtime to the weekend, and broadcasts will be available via webcasts and listen again services.

Elliot Carter resources on the web:

* Today's Guardian has an excellent interview with Elliot Carter by Andrew Clements. Shame though their footnote gets the concert dates wrong, they are not 'this Friday and Sunday', but 13th to 15th January as above

* Another interview, this time by Paul Griffiths
* Audio file of 68 minute interview from American Public Media
* Sample Carter's music with this 3 minute excerpt from his 1993 Partita (played by Barenboim & Chicago Symphony) linked from Boosey and Hawkes

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