NPR posts Babbitt documentary

I’m so glad to learn that NPR is hosting Robert Hilferty’s documentary about Milton Babbitt on their Deceptive Cadence blog (Video embed below).

Some scenes from this were screened at a Babbitt event I attended a few years ago at CUNY Graduate Center, but, due to Hilferty’s passing in 2009, a finished film never appeared publicly.

Today, Alex Ross ran a post about the film at The Rest is Noise, indicating that Laura Karpman has helped to edit this posthumous version of the work.

Ross also wrote his own tribute to Babbitt here. He was kind enough to include several links to other Babbitt-related media and articles about the composer. He even linked our coverage here (Thanks Alex!).

John Kreckler

I was saddened to learn today that John Kreckler  passed away  earlier this week. John was probably best known to composers, performers, and new music audiences as the co-director of the Locrian Chamber Players, a New York-based ensemble that performs exclusively music less than a decade old.

I’d just seen John at the Locrian concert last week. Diva Goodfriend-Koven was performing two of my solo flute pieces. The atmosphere was light and friendly. He sat with me at the dress rehearsal, and joked that I should have given Diva more corrections after the run through (I hadn’t had much to say – Diva’s playing was really extraordinary!).

Before the concert, John gave introductory remarks about Locrian’s mission and their fifteen year-long history. He didn’t join in the after-concert festivities, begging off due to a trip early the next morning; but otherwise, John seemed fine. It’s hard to believe that he’s gone.

Although many knew about his work advocating for others’ music, John was an accomplished composer in his own right. His works were performed at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, Aspen, and the American Institute of Arts and Letters.   A program was devoted exclusively to his work at the Kendall Gallery in New York.   He wrote a piano concerto, several string quartets, and two song cycles based on the poetry of Langston Hughes.  

John was born in Wisconsin.   He received his Bachelor of Music degree cum laude from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He got his Master’s degree and Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from The Juilliard School, where he studied with David Diamond, Milton Babbitt and Stephen Albert.  He taught at both the Juilliard School and the Aspen Music School.

Survivors include his father, Ed Kreckler, and two sisters, Renee Vandeberg and Cindy Orvel.

There will be a service on Tuesday at 7PM at the Bernard F. Dowd Funeral
Home in Queens.   Their address is 165-20 Hillside Ave., Jamaica, NY.
Phone: (718) 739-8117.  

They have onsite parking and there’s a subway stop on the F line nearby.