Born in New York in December 1908, the venerable but still active American composer Elliott Carter is one of the most highly regarded figures in the music of our time. His works span more than seven decades and have been the subject of many analyses, and most of his writings have appeared in carefully edited collections. In contrast, few of the documents on his life and music, largely preserved at the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel, are known to the public. This body of material forms the main source of the present volume, which offers a richly annotated selection of Carter's correspondence and other documents, including unpublished writings, facsimiles of music manuscripts, and photographs. The book traces the biographical, intellectual, and artistic evolution of a composer who, building on American modernism and interacting with the latest developments in Europe, has forged a distinctive, highly sophisticated musical language, and captures his friendships with fellow musicians and friends such as Charles Ives, Nadia Boulanger, John Kirkpatrick, Aaron Copland, Nicolas Nabokov, and more recently, Pierre Boulez, Oliver Knussen, Heinz Holliger, Daniel Barenboim, and James Levine. Published in association with the Paul Sacher Foundation.
FELIX MEYER has been the director of the Paul Sacher Foundation since 1999. He has edited several books, most recently a facsimile of Béla Bartók's Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion (2018). For The Boydell Press he edited Crosscurrents: American and European Music in Interaction 1900-2000 (with Carol J. Oja, Wolfgang Rathert, and Anne C. Shreffler, 2014) and Elliott Carter: A Centennial Portrait in Letters and Documents (with Anne C. Shreffler, 2008).