Yesterday, eminent composer Elliott Carter celebrated his birthday with a concert at Carnegie Hall. It was also the premier of a 17-minute composition — and “not some chestnut written when he was a student in Paris in the 1930s,” as the front-page New York Times tribute pointed out. Carter wrote the piece last year, at 99, along with five others. “In fact, since he turned 90, Mr. Carter has poured out more than 40 published works, an extraordinary burst of creativity at a stage when most people would be making peace with mortality,” the article points out.
“I don’t know how I did it,” Mr. Carter told Times reporter Daniel Wakin. “The earlier part of my life I felt I was more or less exploring what I would like to write. Now I’ve found it out, and I don’t have to think so much about it.”