AVANT-GARDE COMPOSER MILTON BABBITT DIES AT 94
31st January 2011
The compositional and intellectual wisdom of Milton Babbitt influenced a wide range of contemporary musicians. A broad array of distinguished musical achievements in the dodecaphonic system and important writings on the subject have generated increased understanding and integration of serialist language into the eclectic musical styles of the late 20th century. Babbitt is also renowned for his great talent and instinct for jazz and his astonishing command of American popular music. His All Set for jazz ensemble, reveals an extraordinary compositional flexibility, uniquely American and vintage Babbitt.
He also maintained a deep interest in theatre music and the popular music of the 1920s and 30s, showing his sense of humour with titles like The Joy of More Sextets, and It Takes Twelve to Tango. His students included the composers Mario Davidovsky and Fred Lerdahl and musical theatre giant Stephen Sondheim.