Milton Babbitt, 1916-2011

Milton Babbitt has died, aged 94.

A huge figure in american music of the last fifty years, and a much-maligned and misunderstood figure and, by all accounts, a wonderfully warm and generous figure.

By sheer coincidence, I was today re-reading his article Who cares if you listen? (typically used by critics who haven’t read it as a stick to beat challenging music with), regretting not knowing his music better than I do, and wondering what he was writing now.

Time to rectify the lack of familiarity, at least.