“Elliott Carter is America’s leading composer, though as he insists, he is a composer who happens to be American. Born in 1908 Carter has been increasingly recognised as a master of closely worked, disciplined, often passionate, sometimes violent music which he is now composing with a growing facility. As a figure who spans the century he has known all the great leaders of contemporary music, from Stravinsky to Charles Ives, Edgar Varese and Aaron Copland and many, many others.”
This is the introduction to John Tusa’s interview with Elliott Carter aired in 2000 by BBC’s Radio 3, where Carter shares his view on various topics such as Charles Ives, Minimalism, John Cage, contemporary music, being a composer, music composition today, among other things.
Elliott Carter is now 98 years old and still composing. Even if you don’t like his music, it’s worth listening to the interview just to hear him talk about important historical events and some of the great figures of the 20th-century.