Composer of the Week: George Crumb

George Crumb

b. Oct. 24, 1929 in Charleston, West Virginia

George Crumb, American composer extraordinaire, engaged in quite an extensive musical education — he studied at the Mason College of Music in Charleston, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the Berlin Conservatory. Crumb received a Rockefeller grant in 1964 and was a composer in residence at the Buffalo Center for the Creative and Performing Arts.

Most of Crumb’s music can be described as eerie and bone-chilling, and he is certainly one of the more avant-garde composers featured in our Composer of the Week segment. His compositions reference art-music, hymns, folk music and non-western music, and they also commonly employ various vocal techniques along with symbolic, mystical and theatrical components.

Crumb taught at the University of Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He was a Fullbright scholar and won the Pulitzer prize for his work “Echoes of Time and the River” in 1968. Crumb is also a 2001 GRAMMY award winner and was the 2004 Musical America “Composer of the Year.”

Ancient Voices of Children:

Vox Balaenae:

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