An American composer born October 24, 1929 in Charleston (United States).
George Crumb studied at the universities of Illinois and Michigan and at the Berkshire Music Center as well as in Berlin, notably with Boris Blacher. A laureate of many prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize for Echoes of Time and the River (1967), and Unesco’s International Composers’ Rostrum, hailed all over the world, his music is characterised by poetic sensitivity, evocative power and great concision.
Crumb obtains special tone-colours by using traditional and folk instruments, especially from the plucked string family (Night of the Four Moons with banjo, 1969; Lux Aeterna with sitar, 1971). He explores the role of the performer in relation to the instrument or the voice by exploiting all contemporary playing techniques. He also includes quotations or pastiches of classical works (Schubert’s Young Maiden and Death in Black Angels, 1970; Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra in Vox, 1971) and he particularly cultivates chamber music groupings as well as vocal writing, especially to poems by Federico Garcia Lorca (four books of Madrigals, 1965-1969; Sun and Shadow, 2009).