Composer George Crumb Dies at 92

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Submitted by nonesuch on Mon, 02/07/2022 - 05:00
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American composer George Crumb died at his home in Pennsylvania on Sunday at the age of 92. The Nonesuch recording of his Ancient Voices of Children, a song-cycle based on texts by Garcia Lorca, performed by Jan DeGaetani and the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, become a defining album of the label’s early years. Kronos Quartet's recording of his Vietnam War protest piece Black Angels, which Kronos founder David Harrington has credited with helping to inspire the group's formation, was included among the Evening Standard's 100 Definitive Classical Albums of the 20th Century.

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American composer George Crumb died at his home in Pennsylvania on Sunday at the age of 92. The Nonesuch recording of his Ancient Voices of Children, a song-cycle based on texts by Garcia Lorca, performed by Jan DeGaetani and the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, become a defining album of the label’s early years. Kronos Quartet's recording with his Vietnam War protest piece Black Angels, which Kronos founder David Harrington has credited with helping to inspire the group's formation, was included among the Evening Standard's 100 Definitive Classical Albums of the 20th Century.

Born in 1929 in Charleston, West Virginia, George Crumb came to be indelibly linked with avant-garde and contemporary classical music of the 20th century. Crumb completed his undergraduate studies at the Mason College of Music in Charleston and went on to earn a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, followed by postgraduate studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin and a doctorate from the University of Michigan.

Even before earning his doctorate, George Crumb began teaching at various universities throughout America, his longest tenure at the University of Pennsylvania, from the 1960s to the 1990s. At the same time, Crumb was being praised for his cutting edge compositions that often explored unusual timbres and extended instrumental techniques, using what the New York Times called “exotically sensual sound colors” and “extravagantly mystical allusions.” In the process, the composer garnered numerous awards, including a Fulbright Scholarship, a Guggenheim grant, a Pulitzer Prize, six honorary degrees, and a Grammy Award.

You can read George Crumb's New York Times obituary here.

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George Crumb
  • Monday, February 7, 2022
    Composer George Crumb Dies at 92

    American composer George Crumb died at his home in Pennsylvania on Sunday at the age of 92. The Nonesuch recording of his Ancient Voices of Children, a song-cycle based on texts by Garcia Lorca, performed by Jan DeGaetani and the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, become a defining album of the label’s early years. Kronos Quartet's recording with his Vietnam War protest piece Black Angels, which Kronos founder David Harrington has credited with helping to inspire the group's formation, was included among the Evening Standard's 100 Definitive Classical Albums of the 20th Century.

    Born in 1929 in Charleston, West Virginia, George Crumb came to be indelibly linked with avant-garde and contemporary classical music of the 20th century. Crumb completed his undergraduate studies at the Mason College of Music in Charleston and went on to earn a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, followed by postgraduate studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin and a doctorate from the University of Michigan.

    Even before earning his doctorate, George Crumb began teaching at various universities throughout America, his longest tenure at the University of Pennsylvania, from the 1960s to the 1990s. At the same time, Crumb was being praised for his cutting edge compositions that often explored unusual timbres and extended instrumental techniques, using what the New York Times called “exotically sensual sound colors” and “extravagantly mystical allusions.” In the process, the composer garnered numerous awards, including a Fulbright Scholarship, a Guggenheim grant, a Pulitzer Prize, six honorary degrees, and a Grammy Award.

    You can read George Crumb's New York Times obituary here.

    Journal Articles:Artist News

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