American composer Elliott Carter died on Nov. 5 at his home in New York City, just a month shy of his 104th birthday.
A two-time Pulitzer Prize recipient, Carter remained active well into his 11th decade. His latest work for chamber orchestra, Instances, will have its world premiere in February 2013 with a performance by the Seattle Symphony.
Carter's music is known for its complexity. His string quartets were described by the New York Times in 2002 as among the most difficult works of music ever conceived. Despite this, his compositions retain a clarity that some critics have likened to neoclassicism.
In April 1998, Carter was the guest of flutist Robert Aitken and New Music Concerts for a 90th birthday tribute at Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. In a pre-concert chat, Aitken asked Carter about the complexity of his music:
ListenCarter: "If you write difficult music, only good players will play it."
News of Carter's death spread quickly. Here's a selection of online tributes that appeared within hours of his passing:
Pulitzer-winning composer Elliott Carter dies at age 103
The Guardian: Elliott Carter obituary
Watch Carter's Elegy for String Orchestra performed by the Westwood High School Symphony Orchestra
on Nov 06, 2012