Elliott Carter, the American classical composer who wrote elaborate and rhythmically complex works even during his old age, died Monday, November 5 at his Greenwich Village apartment in New York where he has lived since 1945. The composer was 103 years old.
Carter's music publishing company, Boosey & Hawkes, made the sad announcement and called the award-winning artist an "iconic American composer," but did not reveal the cause of Carter's death.
The American two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, who won it first in 1960 for his Second String Quartet and then in 1973 for Third String Quartet, was highly regarded by an inner circle of musicians and music critics. He was known for combining complex ways of interaction among instruments in his compositions, which translated to a musical art and drama for most of his listeners, but made it hard to follow for orchestras.
Even at his old age, Carter remained very active in writing music and accepting challenging works. He described his works as "music that asks to be listened to in a concentrated way and listened to with a great deal of attention."
Other significant works of Mr. Carter were extensive writings about 20th-century music. A collection of articles, "The Writings of Elliott Carter: An American Composer Looks at Modern Music", was published in 1977.
The distinguished composer is survived by a son named David as well as a grandson. His wife, Helen Frost-Jones, whom he got married to in 1939, has passed away in 1998.