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Thread: Oldest living classical composer

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    Default Oldest living classical composer

    As we approach the end of 2019, I've been thinking about our elders in the field of composition.

    The oldest living classical composer I know of is Ned Rorem (b. 1923). Born in 1926 are Gyorgy Kurtag (Hungary), Friedrich Cerha (Austria), and Carlisle Floyd (USA). Canadian composer John Beckwith was born in 1927, while Canadian jazz and Third Stream composer Phil Nimmons was born in 1923, a bit before Rorem. Any others?

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Funnily enough I was wondering about this very thing about a month ago. I immediately thought of Ned Rorem because I was playing his music at the time - I can't think of anyone older.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

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    Juan Antonio Orrego Salas (born January 18, 1919) is a Chilean-American composer of contemporary classical music and musicologist (Wiki).
    Allüberall und ewig blauen licht die Fernen! Ewig ... ewig ...

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    Chou Wen Chong (1923), apparently a fine and interesting composer of Chinese/US background, died just a week ago.

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    Elliott Carter is now decomposing but he lived to be 103. Gubaidulina, who is still active is 88.
    Short-term thinkers are rewarded with reelection, while those who dare to take seriously our responsibility to future generations commonly find themselves out of office.

    - Marcia Bjornerud, Geologist

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    Chou Wen-Chung was a student and noted follower of Varese.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    Juan Antonio Orrego Salas (born January 18, 1919) is a Chilean-American composer of contemporary classical music and musicologist (Wiki).
    Wow, a centenarian!

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    U.S.-based Scottish composer Thea Musgrave is 91.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    Chou Wen-Chung was a student and noted follower of Varese.
    I listened to samples of his work, and it's very diverse, includes reminiscences of folk music without being too sugary or pastiche-like; the string quartets (3) seem to be more normal, 20th-century, mildly modernist stuff (say maybe a la Ginastera), with hints of exoticism, at least from some superficial hearing. I'll be getting them some time.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Nov-04-2019 at 18:15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    U.S.-based Scottish composer Thea Musgrave is 91.
    Wow! I had no idea. I love her Turbulent Landscapes CD.
    Short-term thinkers are rewarded with reelection, while those who dare to take seriously our responsibility to future generations commonly find themselves out of office.

    - Marcia Bjornerud, Geologist

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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    Juan Antonio Orrego Salas (born January 18, 1919) is a Chilean-American composer of contemporary classical music and musicologist (Wiki).
    Orrego Salas was on the composition faculty at Indiana University where I studied in the mid-1970's. His wife was a very nice woman who worked at the Latin-American Music Center there. But I never met Orrego Salas, and believe he was on leave at least part of the time I was there. I heard the premiere of his oratorio The Days of God, which did not leave a distinctive impression. It seems he is a very productive man, careful and effective in his career achievements, and I'd like to know more about him.

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    Swiss composer Julien-François Zbinden (born 1917) is currently age 102.

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    Turkish experimental composer İlhan Usmanbaş (b. 1921) has completed his 98th age last month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prodromides View Post
    Swiss composer Julien-François Zbinden (born 1917) is currently age 102.
    I once had a CD of his piano music ...

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    Cecilia_Seghizzi, Italian composer - died today at age 111.
    Kh
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