Giuseppe Verdi was 78 when he wrote his last opera "Falstaff." One of the most famous composers in the United States has just finished his first opera, and he is turning 90 on December 11. Elliott Carter's one act opera entitled "What Next" will premiere in the fall of 1999 at the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden, with Daniel Barenboim conducting. Carter's productivity is increasing as his age advances. Over the past 15 years alone, he has written approximately 15 works, most of them being chamber music pieces. Carter is a native of New York where he still resides, but his career has been followed at least as attentively in Europe. This may be because Carter, unlike many of his fellow American composers, does not cater to a wide audience. Instead, his music appeals to those who love a style that stands out for its uniqueness, often puzzling the listener. Georg Hirsch spoke with Elliott Carter in New York and attended a world premiere of one of his works in Washington, D.C.
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