Milton Babbitt at his 90th birthday tribute
concert, Zankel Hall, May 2006 | Photo by Richard Terrine
Composer Milton Babbitt, who died last Saturday at the age of 94,
enjoyed a distinguished and decades-long association with Carnegie Hall.
To date, 46 of his works have been performed more than 75 times at
the Hall. His music was first heard here in February 1957, when the song
"The Widow's Lament in Springtime" was performed by soprano Bethany
Beardslee, accompanied by pianist Robert Helps. The most recent
performance of Babbitt's music happened in January 2010, when The MET
Chamber Orchestra, conducted by James Levine, played The Head of the
Bed for Soprano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, and Cello.
Babbitt was present when his 90th birthday was celebrated on May 10,
2006 with a special tribute concert in Zankel Hall. Jeffrey Milarsky
conducted members of The MET Chamber Ensemble in an all-Babbitt program.
Clear testament to his importance as a composer is the fact that nine
of Babbitt's works have had their world premieres at Carnegie Hall.
09/11/1968: Correspondences for Strings and Tape performed
by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; Lukas Foss, Conductor
02/14/1980: Tableaux performed by Matthias Kriesberg, Piano
02/14/1980: My Ends Are My Beginnings performed by Anand
01/19/1986: Piano Concerto performed by American Composers Orchestra;
Charles Wuorinen, Conductor; Alan Feinberg, Piano
03/15/1989: Beaten Paths performed by William Trigg, Marimba
03/27/1991: Soli e Duettini William Anderson, Guitar; Oren
11/15/1998: Concerto No.2 for Piano performed by the MET Orchestra;
James Levine, Conductor; Robert Taub, Piano
03/02/2000: The Old Order Changeth performed by Ofra Yitzhaki,
11/03/2002: Milton From the Psalter performed by the American
Composers Orchestra; Steven Sloane, Conductor
Milton Babbitt, May 10, 1916–January 29, 2011.