You have to read deeply into Jay Nordlinger’s Impromptus column this morning to find this:
Milton Babbitt, the American composer, died over the weekend (at 94). He was both a mathematician and a composer — one brainy sumbitch. I know that some understand, and even enjoy, his music. They are a remarkable breed.
If I can get political on you for a second, he was a conservative and an anti-Communist — and actually had the stones to sign up with Midge Decter’s Committee for the Free World. You think this made him rare in the artistic set? Oh, baby.
Thanks, I needed that (and just about everything else in the column). Please check it out.
NOTE: The Los Angeles Times has a good obituary of Babbitt. Other worthy notes on his death are here (Carmen Cusido of the Times of Trenton), here (Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun), here (the Telegraph’s obit), here (News at Princeton), and here (Anne Midgette of the Washington Post). Midgette directs readers to the film on Babbitt by Robert Hilferty that NPR has posted here.