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Encyclopedia > Robert Craft

Robert Lawson Craft (October 20th, 1923 - ) is an American conductor and writer on music best known for his intimate working friendship with Igor Stravinsky, a relationship which has resulted in a number of recordings and books. October 20 is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 72 days remaining. ... 1923 (MCMXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... See Conductor for other possible uses of the word. ... Music is an art, entertainment, or other human activity which involves organized and audible sound, though definitions vary. ... Igor Stravinsky in his middle ages. ...


Craft was born in Kingston, New York and studied music at the Juilliard School. He became particularly interested in early music and the music of Claudio Monteverdi and Heinrich Schütz, and in contemporary music by the composers of the Second Viennese School and others. Kingston is a city located in Ulster County, New York, United States. ... The Juilliard School is the premiere performing arts conservatory in the world. ... Early music is European classical music before the classical music era and after Ancient music. ... Portrait of Claudio Monteverdi in Venice, 1640, by Bernardo Strozzi Claudio Monteverdi (May 15, 1567 (baptised) – November 29, 1643) was an Italian composer, violinist and singer. ... Heinrich Schütz Heinrich Schütz (October 9, 1585 – November 6, 1672) was a German composer and organist, generally regarded as the most important German composer before Johann Sebastian Bach and is often considered to be one of the most important composers of the 17th century along with Claudio Monteverdi. ... The Second Viennese School was a group of composers made up of Arnold Schoenberg and those who studied under him in early 20th century Vienna. ...


Craft met Stravinsky in 1948, and from then until the composer's death in 1971, Craft continued to work alongside Stravinsky in a variety of roles. A relationship that started as out as a rather meager role for Craft eventually evolved into a full blown artistic partnership. Craft wrote the libretto for The Flood. He lived with the Stravinsky family in California and later in New York. Craft continued to remain close to the composer's widow Vera until her death in 1982. Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 3rd 410,000 km² 402. ... Official language(s) None, English de facto Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 27th 141,205 km² 455 km 530 km 13. ...


After Stravinsky's death, Craft continued to concertize and to write. His 2002 book An Improbable Life details his life before, during, and after his friendship with Stravinsky. The memoir elaborates on the impact that Igor Stravinsky has had and continues to have on his life. As a literary genre, a memoir forms a subclass of autobiography, although it is an older form of writing. ...


He collaborated with Stravinsky on 6 vols. of a catechumenical and discursive nature: Conversations with Igor Stravinsky (N.Y., 1959); Memories and Commentaries (N.Y., 1960); Expositions and Developments (N.Y., 1962); Dialogues and a Diary (N.Y., 1963); Themes and Episodes (N.Y., 1967); Retrospections and Conclusions (N.Y., 1969). Resentful of frequent referral to him as a musical Boswell, Craft insists that his collaboration with Stravinsky was more akin to that between the Goncourt brothers, both acting and reacting to an emerging topic of discussion, with Stravinsky evoking his ancient memories in his careful English, or fluent French, spiced with unrestrained discourtesies toward professional colleagues on the American scene, and Craft reifying the material with an analeptic bulimia of quaquaversal literary , psychological, physiological, and culinary references in a flow of finely ordered dialogue.


Craft is an award winning conductor. Besides recording virtually all of Stravinsky's music (Craft has recorded the music of Igor Stravinsky on eleven now out-of-print releases for MusicMasters and seven volumes for Koch. Since early 2005, these recordings have been gradually re-released on the budget label Naxos), Craft conducted well-received recordings of Schoenberg, Varese, Webern and more works of then contemporary composers. While not a ' showy ' conductor in any sense of the word, Craft is known for his technically and musically precise interpretations. Robert Craft is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Grand Prix du Disque, as well as the Edison Prize for his recordings of music by Varese and Stravinsky. Robert Craft has conducted most of the world's major orchestras in the United States; (New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Minneapolis), Canada, Europe, Russia, Japan, Korea, Mexico South America, Australia, Newand New Zealand. He is the first American to have conducted Alban Berg's operas "Wozzeck" and "Lulu". The primary use of “Naxos” is as the name of a Greek island in the Cyclades. ... Alban Maria Johannes Berg (February 9, 1885 – December 24, 1935) was an Austrian composer. ...


Craft led the world premieres of Stravinsky's later works: "Von Himmel hoch", "Agon", "The Flood", "Abraham and Isaac", "Variations" (Chicago Symphony), "Introitus", and "Requiem Canticles".


Craft has not been without criticism in his life. Some view him as a sycophant in relation to Stravinsky. Others blame him for leading Stravinky into the artistically ' fallow ' regions of 1960's serialism. As a recorder of Stravinsky's life and legacy, some claim that he is simply not in a position to be a neutral observer. Certainly, obtaining a clear, unfettered view of Igor Stravinsky is complicated by Robert Craft's intimate and personally inter-connected musicological views and writings.


Robert Craft however, is not without his own legacy. Besides working on an intimate basis with one of the greats from the last century, Craft produced volumes of academic and personal writings on Stravinsky and on others composers. He most certainly remains in a vanguard position in relation to twentieth century art music. Robert Craft was awarded the International Prix du Disque at the Cannes Music Festival for 2002. With or without the assistance of Igor Stravinsky, Craft is an important musician whose impact on music of the last century is still being felt.


Robert Craft’s publications include Prejudices in Disguise (N.Y., 1974); Stravinsky in Photographs and Documents (with Vera Stravinsky; London, 1976; N.Y., 1978); Current Convictions: Views and Reviews (N. Y., 1977); Present Perspectives (N.Y., 1984); Stravinsky: Glimpses of a Life (N.Y., 1992). He also translated and edited Stravinsky, Selected Correspondence {2 vols., N.Y., 1982, 1984).


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Robert Craft Biography - famous Robert Craft Classical collection and Robert Craft Music Reviews. (442 words)
Robert Craft, the noted conductor and widely respected writer and critic on music, literature, and culture, holds a unique place in world music of today.
Robert Craft has conducted and recorded with most of the world's major orchestras in the United States, Europe, Russia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, South America, Australia, and New Zealand.
Craft's historic association with Igor Stravinsky, as his constant companion, co-conductor, and musical confidant, over a period of more than twenty years, contributed to his understanding of the composer's intentions in the performance of his music.
Robert Craft (Conductor) - Short Biography (380 words)
A decisive turn in Robert Craft’s career was his encounter with Stravinsky in 1948, whom he greatly impressed by his precise knowledge of Stravinsky's music; gradually he became Stravinsky's closest associate.
Robert Craft has conducted most of the world's major orchestras in the USA; (New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Minneapolis), Canada, Europe, Russia, Japan, Korea, Mexico South America, Australia, and New Zealand.
Within his career to date Robert Craft is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Grand Prix du Disque, as well as the Edison Prize for his recordings of music by Varese and Stravinsky.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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