Arthur Berger

Biography

Born: May 15, 1912; New York, NY   Died: October 7, 2003; Boston, MA  
Berger studied at New York University and also at Harvard University under Piston. He has served as a professor at several universities, including the Juilliard School and Brandeis University. In addition to these duties, Berger has been a music critic and editor, as well as a contributor to several papers and peiodocals. All of these activities have been for the purpose of broadening his musical understanding and creativity, or to advance Read more American composers. His early influences were Stravinsky and Schoenberg, and later Webern. One of his main compositional concerns has been that of musical space, vertical and horizontal. He makes use of very wide linear leaps such as 7ths and 9ths and considers these to conjunct intervals. His goal in this matter is not to create abstract sound but to enhance the beauty of pitch relationships. Though a diatonic composer early on, he often displaced and fragmented chords to challenge the vertical space. His later works have moved away from serialism, but he has continued his effort to create spacial effects through the use of tone-cluster 'cells', or pitch classes that are diffused by shifting octave arrangements. Read less

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