Elliott Carter being interviewed by Charlie Rose, December 10, 2008. Rose asked Carter if there were times in his career when he felt a sense of exultation, when he felt like he had reached the top of the mountain. Carter said that he was still climbing; if he ever reached the top of the mountain, he’d be worried.
I’ve happily spilled plenty of words on Carter and his music this year (start here or here if you missed them). For his actual hundredth birthday, a bit of ephemera. A few weeks ago, I spent a day poking around the Harvard University Archives, and found this photo of the Harvard Glee Club, on stage at Boston’s Symphony Hall (click to enlarge):
Harvard Glee Club, 1927 – HUPSF Glee Club – Harvard University Archives.
The conductor is the legendary Archibald T. Davison. The organist is future director G. Wallace Woodworth. Small world department: I’m pretty sure the guy in the horn-rimmed glasses behind Woodworth’s right shoulder is future Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun. And seated in the back row, eighth from right, is Harvard undergraduate Elliott Cook Carter, Jr.
Happy birthday, Mr. Carter—and many happy returns of the day!
Update (12/11): You can now watch the Charlie Rose interview, with Carter, James Levine, and Daniel Barenboim, online.