Babbitt, Milton Byron

Portrait
Born: May 10, 1916 AD
Currently alive, at 98 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Composers, Musicians


1916 - Born 10th of May in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

 

Studied violin, clarinet and saxophone and showed ability in jazz and popular music.

 

1931 - Entered the University of Pennsylvania. He soon left and went to New York University instead, where he studied music with Philip James and Marion Bauer.

 

1935 - After receiving his degree, he studied under Roger Sessions, first privately, later at Princeton University.

 

1947 - Wrote his Three Compositions for Piano, which are the earliest examples of total serialization in music, pre-dating Olivier Messiaen's Mode de valeurs et d'intensités by two years, and Pierre Boulez' Polyphonie X by five. .

 

1958 - Achieved unsought notoriety through an article in the popular magazine High Fidelity. His title for the article, "The Composer as Specialist", was changed, without his knowledge or consent, to "Who Cares if You Listen?".

 

1964 - Continued to write both electronic music and music for conventional musical instruments, sometimes combining the two Philomel, for example, was written for soprano and a synthesized accompaniment (including the recorded and manipulated voice of Bethany Beardslee, for whom the piece was composed) stored on magnetic tape.

 

1973 - Became a member of the faculty at the Juilliard School.

 

1982 - Pulitzer Prize board awarded a "special citation to Milton Babbitt for his life's work as a distinguished and seminal American composer."

 

1986 - Awarded as MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

 

1988 - Received the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for music composition.

 

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