Elliott Carter, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer who fused European and American modernist traditions in seminal but formidable works, and who lived to hear ovations for music that was once thought to be anything but listener-friendly, died Monday at his home in New York City. He was 103.
His assistant, Virgil Blackwell, confirmed the death but did not disclose an immediate cause.
Carter’s career was like some of the towering cathedrals of Europe: so long in the making that it reflected the dramatic shifts in artistic style that take place over a century. A late bloomer -- he didn’t find his mature voice, or the style for which he was best known, until age 40 -- Carter eventually received acclaim by some critics and composers. Igor Stravinsky was credited with calling Carter’s “Double Concerto for Harpsichord, Piano and Two Chamber Orchestras” (1961) the first American masterpiece.