Ives, Charles (Edward)
- J. Peter Burkholder,
- James B. Sinclair
- and Gayle Sherwood
(b Danbury, CT, Oct 20, 1874; d New York, May 19, 1954). American composer. His music is marked by an integration of American and European musical traditions, innovations in rhythm, harmony and form, and an unparalleled ability to evoke the sounds and feelings of American life. He is regarded as the leading American composer of art music of the 20th century.
Ives had an extraordinary working life. After professional training as an organist and composer, he worked in insurance for 30 years, composing in his free time. He used a wide variety of styles, from tonal Romanticism to radical experimentation, even in pieces written during the same period. His major works often took years from first sketch to final revisions, and most pieces lay unperformed for decades. His self-publications in the early 1920s brought a small group of admirers who worked to promote his music. He soon ceased to compose new works, focussing instead on revising and preparing for performance the works he had already drafted. By his death he had received many performances and honours, and much of his music had been published. His reputation continued to grow posthumously, and by his centenary in ...