Piano Quintets



First name: Milton
Last name: Babbit
Dates: 1916-2011
Category: Quintet
Nationality: American
Opus name: Quartet : For Piano and Strings (1995).
Publisher: Peters
Peculiarities: http://www.tfront.com/p-290493-quartet-for-piano-and-strings-1995.aspx#290493
Information: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Milton Byron Babbitt (May 10, 1916 - January 29, 2011) was an American composer, music theorist, and teacher. He is particularly noted for his serial and electronic music. Babbitt was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Albert E. Babbitt and Sarah Potamkin. He was raised in Jackson, Mississippi, and began studying the violin when he was four but soon switched to clarinet and saxophone. Early in his life he was attracted to jazz and theater music. He was making his own arrangements of popular songs at seven, and when he was thirteen, he won a local songwriting contest. Babbitt's father was a mathematician, and it was mathematics that Babbitt intended to study when he entered the University of Pennsylvania in 1931. However, he soon left and went to New York University instead, where he studied music with Philip James and Marion Bauer. There he became interested in the music of the composers of the Second Viennese School, and went on to write a number of articles on twelve tone music including the first description of combinatoriality and a serial "time-point" technique. After receiving his bachelor of arts degree from New York University College of Arts and Science in 1935 with Phi Beta Kappa honors, he studied under Roger Sessions, first privately and then later at Princeton University. At the University he joined the music faculty in 1938 and received one of Princeton's first Master of Fine Arts degrees in 1942. During the Second World War Babbitt divided his time between mathematical research in Washington, DC, and Princeton, where he became a member of the mathematics faculty from 1943 to 1945. In 1948, Babbitt returned to Princeton University's music faculty and in 1973, became a member of the faculty at the Juilliard School in New York. Among his more notable former students are music theorists David Lewin and John Rahn. Babbitt later became interested in electronic music. He was hired by RCA as consultant composer to work with their RCA Mark II Synthesizer at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, and in 1961 produced his Composition for Synthesizer. Babbitt was less interested in producing new timbres than in the rhythmic precision he could achieve using the Mark II synthesizer, a degree of precision previously unobtainable in live performances. Babbitt continued to write both electronic music and music for conventional musical instruments, often combining the two. Philomel (1964), 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. From 1985 until his death he served as the Chairman of the BMI Student Composer Awards, the international competition for young classical composers. Milton Babbitt died in Princeton, New Jersey on January 29, 2011 at the age of 94.