Milton Babbitt (May 10, 1916 – January 29, 2011), composer.

Milton Babbitt was one of the most important Post-War American composers. Trained in both music and mathematics, he was deeply influenced by Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique and became one of the first serial composers in America. After graduating from Princeton University, he joined the faculty there. He also was an early pioneer in electronic music. Although his music was considered difficult and cerebral, Babbitt himself was known for his sense of humor. In speaking about the difficulty in understanding his music for the average listener, he said: “The new limitations are the human ones of perception.”

After retiring from the faculties of Princeton and Juilliard, Babbitt retired to his home in Princeton, New Jersey, where he died at the age of 94.

A more complete biography and feature of Babbitt will appear with next week’s “Composer of the Week” article.