Remembering the Composer: Milton Babbitt

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As opinions from across the spectrum of musically-minded come in about the passing of Milton Babbitt's passing, we thought we'd launch Q2's audio coverage with a 1985 Meet the Composer interview of Milton Babbitt with longtime WNYC host Tim Page. Listen Friday evening at 8 p.m for Q2 host Nadia Sirota's deep audio rich dive into the life and music of Milton Babbitt, with insights from many of Babbitt's closest colleagues, collaborators and students.

At the outset of this 1985 interview, host Tim Page expresses his admiration for Babbitt's music, but focuses soon on unpacking the reasons behind Babbitt's status as one of the "most misunderstood of today's composers." In doing so, Page gives an opportunity for the traditionally circumspect composer to publicly introduce his own music, advise the day's younger crop of composers and express his admiration for the charms of popular music.

Pieces heard include All Set conducted by Arthur Weisberg, the String Quartet No. 2 with the Composers Quartet and Reflections for piano and synthesized tape with pianist Robert Miller.

Check back throughout the week, as we honor this giant of contemporary music by unveiling a series of exclusive articles, shows and interviews:

  • Monday at 4 p.m., EST: Meet the Composer from 1985 with WNYC host Tim Page
  • Tuesday at 4 p.m., EST: Composers Forum from 1973 with Martin Bookspan
  • Wednesday at 4 p.m., EST: New, Old, and Unexpected from 1986 with host Tim Page
  • Friday at 8 p.m., EST: Milton Babbitt at 94 with Q2 host Nadia Sirota
  • Sunday at 2 p.m., EST: Cued Up on Q2: Milton Babbitt