An American composer born December 11, 1908 in New-York.
A pianist by training, Elliott Carter entered the University of Harvard in 1926, where he at first studied literature, mathematics and philosophy. He subsequently attended the music classes of, notably, Walter Piston and Gustav Holst, and he then completed his apprenticeship from 1932 with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. After the war he taught at Queens College, New York, at Yale University and the Juilliard School of Music. As a theoretician he fixed the rhythmic basis of contemporary American music. His music, which received the Pulitzer Prize in 1960 and 1973, bears the imprint of Guillaume de Machaut, the English and Italian madrigalists, the cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach, Igor Stravinsky and also of American masters such as Aaron Copland together with the writings of Rabelais and Emily Dickinson. Complex counterpoint, polyrhythmic writing, syncopated material and instrumental dramaturgy were the main features of his language before he turned, with the new century, towards a melodico-harmonic vocabulary and music both more finely crafted and lighter. His works, in a varied catalogue covering all genres and many concertos, includes Pocahontas (1939), First Quartet (1950), Double Concerto for harpsichord, piano and two chamber orchestras (1961), Concerto for piano (1967), Concerto for oboe (1987), Three occasions (1989), Tempo e Tempi (1998), Conversations (2010).