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Elliot Carter Biography Essay

753 words - 3 pages

Elliot Carter was born in New York City on December 11th, 1908. He really began to find interest in music once he started high school and was encouraged by a young musician named Charles Ives. His father was a business man and his mother was the former Florence Chambers. Charles Ives also sold insurance to his family for encouragement and such. He studied Music and English at Harvard University with professors Walter Piston and Gustav Holst. He became an English major while studying at the Longy School of Music. He then studied for a few years in Paris with Nadia Boulanger. Carter also worked with Mlle Boulanger from 1932-1935 and in 1935 he received his doctorate in music from the Ecole Normale in Paris. Later on in that same year, he went back to America to direct the Ballet Caravan. From 1940-1944, he then taught courses in physics, mathematics, and classical Greek, as well as music, at St. Johns College in Annapolis. Maryland. A little earlier, Carter met the love of his life Helen Frost-Jones and got married on July 6th, 1939. They had one child, a son, David Chambers Carter. During World War II, he worked for the Office of War Information and held teaching posts at numerous Universities. He and his family have lived in Greenwich Village ever since 1945.Carter created a myriad of different works throughout his years. His earlier works were influenced by Stravinsky, Harris, Copland, and Hindermith and are mostly neoclassical in aesthetic. He went through strict training with Stravinsky in modern polyphony, which shows in his earliest works such as Pocahontas (1938-1939). Also, Carter decided to stray away from neoclassicism around the same time Stravinsky did, claiming that it took away “vital areas of feeling”. Other earlier works of his orchestral composition included The Minotaur, the Harmony of Morning, Holiday Overture, and the First Symphony (J.Oteri). He also seemed to have had a thing for Jazz and portrayed it in a lot of his works as well. In his late 30’s, he began experimenting with creating harmonics using the chromatic scale and these techniques would soon become part of Carter’s original, yet mature style of chamber music. He somehow managed to make “orchestral music that is chamber-like music in its meticulous...

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