George Crumb 1929 – 2022

Lorca wrote La muerte entra y sale de la taberna (“Death walks in and out of the tavern”), which George Crumb set in Madrigals, Book II.  This has been a big year of loss among composers whose work influenced me.  (I will write about Louis Andriessen, who died in the summer, soon.) George Crumb’s death is particularly poignant, as he was great composer, my teacher, and later a colleague.   In advance of the Yarn/Wire ensemble’s performance of Music for a Summer Evening on February 4, 2022–as it turned out, two days before George passed — the Duke graduate students asked if I would discuss the piece with them.  In doing so, I sent the comments linked to below, which were answers to an interview the scholar Steven Bruns conducted with me in 2014.  Also in the attachment are a letter I wrote to George on his 80th birthday, and the citation I was privileged to present to him in May, 2015, upon the award of the Gold Medal in Music by the American Academy of Arts & Letters.  The picture, from that day, shows George and pianist Gilbert Kalish.



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