Sunday, January 30, 2011

Milton Babbitt -- May 10, 1916 -- January 29, 2011

The total serialist composer and electronic music pioneer Milton Babbitt died Saturday at the age of 94.

Milton Babbitt: Portrait of a Serial Composer
A film by Robert Hilferty and Laura Karpman on NPR Music. The filmmaker Robert Hilferty passed away before he could complete this documentary. Emmy Award-winning composer Laura Karpman, one of Babbitt's students at the Julliard School, completed the film. It provides a wonderful introduction to the composer, his music, and his life -- and no mention of "Who Cares If You Listen"!

Sylvia Babbitt predeceased Milton in 2005. They are survived by their daughter Betty Ann Duggan and two grandchildren.

Here the late Dr. Babbitt discusses his work for which he is most famous, his time at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. Video courtesy of Dr. Eric Chasalow of Brandeis University: