Honorary Degree Recipient
Doctor of Humane Letters
College of Liberal Arts, March 9, 2006
Elliott Cook Carter is considered one of the most famous living composers in the United States today. He has twice won the Pulitzer Prize and was the first composer to receive the U.S. National medal of Arts. In addition, he is one of only four composers ever awarded Germany's Ernst Von Siemens Music Prize and was made "Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des letters" by the government of France. One person wrote about his significance to American music..."He is our sole surviving connection to the early twentieth century, to a time when composers were seeking new paths to artistic expression and attempting to throw off the accumulated weight of musical traditions of the past several hundred years." He has been compared to Henry James as well as Beethoven because of his work's distinctive characteristics. He is described as an exemplary teacher and a source of inspiration to other composers, theorists, and performing musicians throughout the world. In March 2006, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the University of Minnesota School of Music will collaborate to celebrate this extraordinary American musician in a week of concerts, lectures, and symposia.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.